7 Effective Strategies to Relieve Stress
There are some basic things we can do to help alleviate stress in our lives.
Get regular exercise.
Exercise can help boost your mood and improve your health. It makes you more resilient in coping with stress. While 30 minutes of walking per day is a pretty standard recommendation to help alleviate stress, it’s not for everyone.
Be sure to find an exercise regimen that works for you. This might be lifting weights or riding a bike, or something that also has a social component, like team sports or a workout class.
Having a consistent sleep schedule is key - pick a bedtime and wake time and do your best to stick to them every day.
If you have trouble falling asleep it can be helpful to warm the body’s core temperature by taking a hot shower or bath or drinking warm milk or an herbal (uncaffeinated) tea. There are also breathing exercises geared toward sleep, such as progressive muscle relaxation. Don’t keep your phone within arm’s reach of your bed, and turn off blue lights one hour before bed. Instead of looking at a screen, try reading a book, writing in a journal, or listening to calming peaceful music.
Incorporating deep breathing into your daily routine can help reverse the automatic physical responses to stress. It can lower your blood pressure, improve digestion, increase energy, and a myriad of other benefits.
Try taking 3 big deep breaths after you complete existing parts of your daily routine. For example, every time you brush your teeth, wash dishes, or close your laptop at the end of the day. If you’re interested in more formal breathing exercises, check out the exercise section in the learning library.
Set goals and priorities.
Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Set one goal and stick to it. Practice saying “no” if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. It might be helpful to establish an accountability partner for this. If you have trouble setting goals and priorities, try Confidant’s “Not-do-to list” activity. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, and don’t dwell on what you were unable to do.
Keep a consistent routine.
Get up, get showered, get dressed (not in sweats) and follow a daily schedule of your choice.
Connect with others.
You are not alone. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help. To reduce stress, ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations. Remember, everyone has been in your shoes and we must be there to support each other. If you’re looking for judgment-free expert support, you may also consider connecting with a Confidant Coach.
Try a relaxing activity.
Explore relaxation or wellness programs, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, yoga or breathing exercises. Set aside time to try these activities. Even if you only have five minutes, give it a go.