“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day … watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means [a] waste of time.”
Sir John Lubbock wrote these words in 1894. Clearly, even back then, he was on to something when it comes to slowing down and coping with stress.
In today’s world, a busy home life often competes with a heavy work schedule for your time and attention. Along with job and family concerns, you may be trying to balance health or money issues or taking care of a loved one. While some stress is normal, constant stress can take a toll on your body and mind.
Stress shows up differently in everyone. Still, there are some common signs to look for. If you have any, it may mean you have more than a normal amount of stress:
- Weight gain
- Sleeping too much or not sleeping well
- Feelings of worry or anxiety most of the time
- Changes in appetite
- Trouble with focus or memory
- Often feeling down or sad
Finding healthy ways to handle stress can make a big difference in your life and overall well-being. And they don’t have to be hard to do. Here are some simple ways to deal with stress.
Care for your body and mind
It takes time to develop healthy habits. Take it one day at a time as you incorporate these changes into your life.
Care for your body
- Sleep well. Being well-rested can help you manage stress more easily. Try to get the seven to eight hours of sleep most adults need.
- Eat well. Add more whole foods to your meals, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, choose low-fat dairy and lean meats over a higher-fat diet. Try to limit your alcohol intake, too.
- Move well. You don’t need to run a marathon. Even a brisk walk can help you feel good. Stay with an exercise routine, and over time you should see a lift in your spirits overall.
Care for your mind
- Connect with nature. John Lubbock had the right idea: Strolling in a park or even sitting outdoors on your patio has a calming effect on frazzled nerves.
- Connect with others. Spending time with people — whether by visiting friends or volunteering — helps restore a positive sense of connection and boosts well-being.
- Disconnect from tech. Research has shown that heavy use of computers and cell phones is linked to stress. If you need to be on the computer for work, try to take breaks more often. Or set limits on how much time you spend online.
You want to enjoy your life and be fully present for your family, friends, job and activities. Dealing with stress in healthy ways can help you do that and have a more positive view of life overall.
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