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6 Fool-proof Stress-reducing Tips to Help Us Get Through This Winter

The pandemic may not be over yet, but there are things we can do to manage our stress levels and remain calm, and some that you may not realize can help!

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Most of us are really really stressed, and there’s a lot to be stressed about.  But, life goes on and you have every reason to be happy, even in the face of disruption.  Here are six stress-reducing tips that bring your anxiety levels down and allow you to focus on what’s important through these coming winter months and beyond.

Tea and Chocolate 

A little cup of tea with a side of chocolate never hurt anyone, and most would agree it’s a nice end to what might be a stressful day.  But there’s even more to it than this. Healthline states that the top teas to help with relaxation are peppermint, lavender and chamomile.  Studies have shown that a chemical called Silexan is found in lavender and this has a mood-stabilizing effect. Chamomile is among the most well-known stress-relieving teas.  A 2016 study at the National Library of Medicine found that long-term use of chamomile extract reduced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Just the scent of peppermint has shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and fatigue.  

Regular Meditation

Even if you only tried meditation once, you likely got a benefit from it.  The key when anxiety worsens is to meditate regularly.  If you set a specific time of day for your meditation and stick to it, you will start to feel better and more relaxed in just a few days. Meditation can be any time of day, and from any space, just so long as you have enough quiet to do so effectively. The Mayo Clinic states that meditation can create a deep state of relaxation and a peaceful mind.  There are also some great meditation apps you can use to help your process. 

Mindful Walking

Fitness is specifically about maintaining your body and mind.  A daily walk provides fitness, not only for the body, but for the mind too.  The National Library of Medicine notes that daily walking has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.  When you walk, do so with intention, breathe deeply, take good strong strides, move your arms. This type of mindful walking will help your breathing, relaxation, focus, and even memory. 

Hot Showers, Warm Bath

A warm shower or bath can literally wash off the day’s stress. In addition to the spiritual feeling of cleaning the stress away, a warm bath or shower releases endorphins that will make you feel happy.  According to SCL Health, a warm bath or shower has many additional benefits, such as clearing up sinuses, lowering blood sugar, and helping you sleep more soundly. Medical News Today states that warmer water also improves both brain and cardiovascular health.  

Spend Time with Friends and Family 

It’s very simple: when we spend time with people we care about, we feel good. Studies have found that being social with others has a positive effect on a person’s well-being. In times of stress, seek out your closest friends and confidants for the comfort and peace of mind you need. Having a support system is crucial to maintaining a positive and happy attitude. Decide if it’s one-on-one time you need or a girl’s night out. Either way, you will reap the benefits from being with those who lift you up!

Journaling 

With the amount of pent up anxiety we have today, we need an instant release and journaling is a great way to do just that.  Writing down what happened in your day and how you feel is an excellent way to get a quick emotional release wherever you are.  A Michigan State University study revealed that when you can do a brain dump of your feelings and experiences, you are better able to focus on the right things, happy things.  This internal awareness allows you to be more present and less cluttered with the stress and anxiety from the things that make you sad or depressed. 

This article was written by Stacy Callahan 

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