Stress. It is something we all deal with every day. You may experience it in varying amounts but overall it can be very overwhelming. It can make you toss and turn at night, disturbing your sleep and making you feel not so great the next day. It can be an endless cycle and impact your daily life. You end up stressed that you’re stressed and it can feel hard to manage and take hold of! Not only can it impact your mental state but it can compromise your physical state too. (1) It is important to find ways for your mind AND body to be taken care of so you don’t get burnt out. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, many people have a difficult time finding ways to help manage their stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck on ways to help you relax, here are some tips you can try!
1. Breathing Exercises
When you feel overwhelmed and like you can’t think clearly, try taking some deep breaths. It may calm your body and mind by helping to manage negative emotions such as stress, and anger. (2) There are many different deep breathing exercises you can try but a simple and effective way is to sit down and take in 5 deep, slow breaths. After you have done that, slowly exhale out. You can repeat this until you feel like your stress levels are lower. It is something you can do just about anywhere so it is easier to incorporate into your daily life and can be a quick on the go method when you need some help relaxing. If you need some extra inspiration for breathing exercises, here are others you can try.
2. Take Magnesium Glycinate
As many people know, supplementation and vitamins can help provide your body with the things you may be missing through diet or lifestyle. A way to possibly help balance your body through supplementation is Magnesium Glycinate. Lack of magnesium can reduce serotonin levels (3) and may cause things such as anxiety, irritability and trouble sleeping. (4) With the proper supplementation, it may help make your day to day stress seem more manageable.
3. Have a Hot Bath
Between the cold weather and tense muscles, a hot bath can be just the thing you need. Not only does it warm you up and relax your body but it can also help you have a better, more restful sleep which can make you feel more prepared to handle the day. (5) A hot bath can also help calm the nervous system which will contribute to a better mood and you feeling more relaxed. (6) So soak on in and enjoy!
4. Get your Vitamin D
With the days getting darker, it can be harder to get sunlight exposure. Vitamin D supplements are a way to make sure you are getting some sunshine goodness without the sun. The gloomier weather and shorter days can bring out seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in some people. SAD can impact how a “person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities” (7) so it is important to be wary of if it impacts you. If you are dealing with SAD, or if the winter blues are making it hard to manage stress, Vitamin D could help enhance your mood. This may help make you feel better and deal with stress easier so it is a win/win. (8)
5. Make Yourself Laugh
Sometimes it is beneficial to just take a break from it all and laugh. Not only is it enjoyable but it may help alleviate your stress. (9) Set some time aside when you feel this way to watch that funny movie or video you’ve had your eye on. If you’re on the go, pull out your phone and look up some memes that make you laugh. Make sure to send it to your friends and family to help them too or just brighten up their day!
6. Practice Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation could also help you combat feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It may be able to help reduce the body’s stress response which can help you relax. (10) There are various types of yoga, some more strenuous than others, so you can adjust it to your needs or abilities. You are able to do it in a studio, but there are virtual classes you can sign up for as well. You can also find free yoga videos on Youtube that you can follow along with. The videos and classes range in length so you can adjust it to your schedule and availability.
7. Try Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea extract is another beneficial supplement to keep in mind. It has been traditionally used as an adaptogen to help reduce stress. It was also used as an herbal medicine for treating headaches, which is something people can experience when they are overwhelmed. When adding Rhodiola Rosea extract as a supplement, it may help those pesky stress-related symptoms. As stress can contribute to a weaker immune system, it is important to have ways to cope with it. (11)
8. Coloring Books
Coloring Books are usually an activity associated with children in daycare or elementary school. It was often a simpler time with the biggest decisions being which snack do I want to eat and what toy do I want to play with. Over the past few years though, coloring books have become a trend amongst adults looking for new ways to relax. Not only are coloring books fun, but they can also help in reducing anxiety and improving mood. (12) You can pick up a coloring book from a dollar store or order a more intricate one online, so pull out those pencil crayons and try coloring that stress away!
9. Get in Your Exercise
Sometimes when you’re stressed and overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is sit still. If you feel like you could blow some of that stress steam, try a cardio-based exercise. Pick something you enjoy like dancing in your room, riding a bike, or using the treadmill. You can do really anything you enjoy that helps get your heart pumping. Exercising can help your body in producing endorphins which can boost your mood and help you relax! (13)
10. Add Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is another supplement to keep in mind when you are wanting to combat stress. This herb may be something to try if you are consistently dealing with it in your day to day life. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that has been traditionally used to manage stress. (14) A study done showed that some people experienced reduced cortisol levels when taking Ashwagandha root extract. This can help as cortisol is a hormone that is produced when you are stressed and it can contribute to the symptoms you may experience. The study also showed it helped improve the quality of sleep each night which can help make your body and mind feel better.
It can take time to find what helps you combat stress best. It is important to remember that it is different for each person, so start with one or some of the tips to help you relax and learn what works for you! A well-designed supplement formula can work with the tips above and might be just what you need to get started.
If you are struggling with heightened amounts of stress this season, please make sure to reach out to your loved ones. Take the time to check in on them as well and ask how they are doing, as well as share some of the tips above that you think may help put them on the right track to decrease their stress levels.