If you’re like many people around the globe, you’ve experienced a heightened level of stress and anxiety over the course of 2020. From a global pandemic and uncertain economic circumstances to social injustices happening all too frequently as well as an upcoming election, there are plenty of triggers causing these flare ups in anxiety. To help you deal with this uptick, we’ve come up with four helpful tips to better manage your stress and anxiety both in the long-term and short-term. Read on to learn more in Stress & Anxiety: 4 Ways to Manage it! (You can also check out Drug Genius for a complete guide to relieving stress and anxiety.)
1. Prioritize Sleep
As hard as it may be to get a good night’s sleep in while your thoughts are racing, it’s so important to give your body and brain a break. In fact, experts say adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. However, when you’re dealing with anxiety, you might experience any number of disruptions to your sleep — physical discomfort, nightmares, and nighttime hunger can all contribute to a less-than-ideal night’s sleep.
Here are a few tips to help you improve the quality of sleep even when it may seem impossible to do so:
Stay away from screens before bedtime: One of the many disadvantages of having too much screen time is the effect it has on your sleep. Bluelight can negatively impact your circadian rhythm and confuse your body when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to be awake; this can cause poor sleep quality. Try not to watch TV or look at your phone for an hour before bedtime.
Eliminate distractions: Whether it’s bright lights or noisy neighbors keeping you from catching zzz’s, it’s time to take action. Blackout blinds can be a great solution for dimming exterior lighting while a white noise machine from Hatch can create a calming atmosphere free of annoying noises.
Use de-stressing sleep accessories: In addition to eliminating disruptions, you can also implement comforting practices to help you de-stress before bedtime. Diffusing essential oils, snuggling up to a Layla weighted blanket, or lighting a soothing candle can make a positive difference.
2. Get a Good Workout in
Maintaining your physical health has a myriad of important benefits; from improving heart and lung health to instilling strength and confidence, there’s a lot to love about getting a good workout in. But did you know that working out is essential to mental health, too? Yep! When you workout, your body releases energizing and stress-soothing chemicals that leave you feeling great for hours, for even up to 3 days!
If you’re just getting started on your fitness journey, keep these tips in mind:
- Treat your workout as a treat, not a punishment! Being active should feel good.
- Focus on consistency rather than intensity — small gains make a big difference in the long run!
- Mix up your routine to strengthen your body in different ways and keep it interesting — try yoga for sculpting.
- Find a routine that works with your lifestyle — Obe Fitness offers online and on-demand classes.
3. Eat Nourishing Foods
Like exercising, eating a healthy diet is also an important step in sustaining your physical and mental health. Foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, and good fats keep you feeling energized and ready to do the things that make you feel happy and calm. If you’re not sure where to begin with healthy eating, try a CSA box from Farm Fresh to You — they’ll ship you an entire box of organic produce weekly or bi-weekly if you’re not ready to take on gardening on your own just yet
4. Lean on Friends & Family
Having a network of support is incredibly important, especially when you’re experiencing elevated stress and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your loved ones to guide you through this tough time, and remember, everyone is going through difficult and uncertain waters at this time. Give your friends and family members a call, host a video chat, or meet up at a socially-distant event to support each other safely.