How stressed do you feel right now, at this moment? If you’re anything like the majority of American adults, chances are you probably feel somewhat stressed. With everything that’s going on in the world right now, it’s hard not to feel even the slightest bit stressed out. A little stress here and there is normal, but if you’re under extreme pressure and stress all the time, that’s no bueno.
Actually, according to WebMD, “stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.” So it’s best to take some measures to get your stress under control, and being more aware of what makes you stressed out is the first step.
In fact, April is actually Stress Awareness Month, with Stress Awareness Day taking place on April 16. (Fun fact: this day was chosen because it’s the day after taxes are due - who knew!?)
No matter what your stress level is right now, we could all use a moment to de-stress and take a breather. We’ve put together a list of tips on how to de-stress that you can use all year round - keep reading to learn how you can start feeling less stressed out, ASAP!
Adjust your sleeping habits
Do you fall asleep scrolling social media until your eyelids feel heavy? STOP doing that! Not only is a lack of sleep bad for your overall health, but staying up all night worrying about what others are doing or doom scrolling your news feed is not doing you any favors when it comes to managing your stress levels. Some of our top tips for healthy sleep habits:
- Avoid blue light/screen time at least one hour before your bedtime. Apparently, the blue light messes with our circadian rhythms and can mess with our sleep schedules. Try to read a book before bed, instead.
- Try a light-blocking eye mask. By blocking out light, you can fall asleep more easily and avoid lights that could potentially wake you up during the night and take away from your quality sleeping time. Some people also swear by blackout shades, which makes sense: our ancestors slept in a dark cave, so for our best sleep it should be completely dark in your room.
- Charge your phone in a separate room or away from your bed. Avoid the temptation to use your phone before bed or right when you wake up by keeping it away from where you sleep. Challenge yourself to avoid using your phone for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or an hour after you wake up - you’ll be astonished at the difference it makes in your overall stress levels.
- Create the best sleep setup by keeping your sheets clean, running a humidifier next to your bed (also keeps your skin plump and healthy!) and sleeping at a cooler temperature. Hint: the optimal sleep temperature for adults is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Try melatonin or other sleep supplements, like magnesium, to help you fall asleep if its something you struggle with.
- Avoid caffeine at least 5-6 hours before bedtime, if not more - it can mess with your ability to fall asleep.
Self-care and skincare routines
Never underestimate the power of self-care when it comes to managing your stress levels. Not only can a skincare routine help benefit your mental health, but the ritual and commitment of keeping up a routine can help manage your stress levels and give you something to look forward to at the end of a stressful day.
Some of our favorite products that always put us in a better mood:
- A caffeinated under eye mask to help reduce puffiness and make us look more awake
- A moisturizer that not only makes our skin soft, but feels luxurious on our faces
- A coffee-infused body scrub that always puts us in a good mood and makes our skin glow - and not to mention, it smells absolutely amazing
Call a friend or loved one
Sometimes when we’re feeling really stressed out, we bottle it up inside and end up feeling overwhelmed. Call a loved one or therapist and have a venting session about what’s been on your mind and what’s bothering you lately. You’d be surprised at how good it feels to just let everything out, like a figurative weight has been lifted. Stress can manifest physically, too - you’ll probably feel much better after letting go of what doesn’t serve you.
Plus, sometimes it helps to get a second opinion on what you’re stressing and advice on how to handle it from the people you love and trust.
Get fresh air and/or exercise
Don’t underestimate the power of getting outside! If you ever feel overwhelmed during the day, step outside and take a short walk around the neighborhood. The fresh air and light exercise will release happy endorphins in your brain and help put you in a calmer state of mind.
Try meditating or doing a breathing exercise
There’s plenty of meditating apps out there - we like Calm, Headspace, or Insight Timer. Find an app or program that works with your lifestyle and give it a shot - meditating has been known to help people learn how to manage their stress levels.
Take a social media detox
Since there’s so much to worry about with what’s going on in the world today, sometimes being on social media can be downright overwhelming. Stop the doom scroll and take a detox from social media - whether it’s just for a day, the weekend, or a whole month - you might be surprised at how much you don’t even miss it. At the very least, try and avoid going on social media an hour after you wake up and the hour before you fall asleep and see the difference it makes in your stress levels and overall well being.
How do you take time to de-stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Let us know your top tips for managing stress in the comments below.