Ahhh, summer’s here. It’s time to say goodbye to stress, relax, kick back on the porch and read that book while the kids play. Turn on the BBQ and exercise as much as you want. But wait, you still have work to contend with, the house needs cleaning, and the kids have a million practices and camps. Your restful summer is, in fact, stressing you out.
Even in summer, we stress. An emotion that wreaks havoc on our body. Stress stimulates the production of cortisol, a hormone that impairs our thinking. It disrupts our sleep and causes us to crave more sugars and carbs, and ultimately not look after ourselves. A new study recently noted that stress can cause a super-highway in our body for cancer. So how do we deal? Here are 5 tips to help you combat stress this summer.
- Keep an exercise routine
Exercise is one of the most important routines we need to keep for both our physical and mental health. Try to commit to 30 minutes of exercise a day. If that’s too much, shoot for 5 times a week. Walking the dog or gardening counts. Exercise can help you control your weight, fend off diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. On the stress front, it boosts energy and helps improve moods by stimulating chemicals in your brain that help you feel happy and relaxed.
- Take time to breathe and meditate
Shallow breathing can cause anxiety. When we take deep, long breaths it helps to regulate our heartbeat and relax our minds. One way to practice breathing is to meditate. Meditation has been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase positive emotions.
- Visit with friends and laugh a little
Go ahead and plan that summer BBQ. Research shows that we are better able to handle stress when we have a community around us. Laughter also has been shown to lower stress and anxiety. So lighten up and laugh with friends and people you love.
- Sleep More
We tend to underestimate the importance of sleep. The slightest sleep deprivation can impair thinking, challenge memory, and mood. When we don’t get enough sleep it impairs our ability to properly respond to stress. Studies show that American adults sleep an average of 6.7 hours a night, below the suggested minimum of 7 to 9 hours. And it’s a vicious cycle, stress can cause us to not sleep, but not sleeping makes us more stressed. Turn off all technology at least 30 minutes before going to bed, to let your mind and body relax. If extra help is needed, consider Tespo Sleep to help lull you into sweet dreams.
- Eat healthy and take a multivitamin
Healthy eating can fuel you with nutrients such as folate and magnesium to boost your mood and help reduce stress. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, most of us are not getting all the nutrients we need through our food intake. Taking a multivitamin is an added insurance policy to make sure your body receives what it’s not getting through food. Studies have shown regular multivitamin intake can give you more energy as well as alleviate stress and anxiety.