These days, almost everyone’s response to the question, “how are you?” is busy. (Yep, I’m guilty of this one too!) When the stress of being too busy starts to feel overwhelming, it’s best to have a few go-to strategies for relieving stress on a regular basis. Stress can not only wreak havoc on your mental health, but your physical health as well! For example, one hormone produced by the kidneys in response to stress is cortisol. Cortisol helps increase levels of blood glucose and your blood pressure briefly to prepare for the “fight-or-flight” response. However, when levels of cortisol are chronically elevated due to ongoing stress, that same hormone can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and more. Don’t worry, learning how to manage stress and following a healthy diet high in anti-inflammatory foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can help you prevent the negative health outcomes from chronic stress. Below you will find my 5 favorite healthy stress relievers.
5 Healthy Stress Relievers:
1. Adult coloring books. It’s no surprise to me that adult coloring books are super trendy now. I wasn’t convinced at first, but after getting one from a co-worker for Christmas, I couldn’t help but reach for my box of colored pencils when I needed to quiet my racing thoughts for a while. I love sipping on a hot cup of tea like Lipton’s new purple acai blueberry green tea and listening to music while I color.
2. Listen to your favorite podcast. As someone who has to commute 45 minutes back and forth to work each day, I find that listening to podcasts helps me control any traffic-related stress. Some of my absolute favorites include: The Lively Show, A Couple Cooks Podcast, This American Life, Serial, and Death, Sex, & Money.
3. Create a calming bedtime routine and get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for preventing chronic stress. Unfortunately, this is one that I too need to work on. Probably the hardest habit for me to break is that I am almost always on my computer or phone until minutes before I head to bed. However, one calming bedtime habit that I have picked up includes sipping on a cup of hot herbal tea like Lipton’s lemon ginger tea. Create a calming bedtime routine for yourself by incorporating: reading, meditation, journaling, or soothing music.
4. Hit up your favorite yoga or exercise class. Exercise can be a great way to combat stress while also building muscle! When I am feeling really stressed out, I actually tend to choose more intense circuit training classes because I find that my mind just turns off as I try to keep up in class. For times when I feel like I’ve just been just rushing from one place to another for too long, I’ll take a yoga class. In fact, numerous studies have found yoga to be particularly effective for managing stress.
5. Take a 5 minute break to sip on tea and savor a small, healthy snack. Sometimes when a project you are working on becomes too overwhelming, it can be beneficial to take a break. Usually, I make myself a cup of tea or coffee and eat a small, healthy snack. As I eat, I make sure to mindfully savor every bite I take rather than letting my thoughts wander off to everything that might be stressing me out. Nine times out of ten, I am feeling a bit less stressed and ready to jump back into whatever I was working on.
As you can see, I find that sipping a cup of hot tea is often part of my strategy for relieving stress. (Especially on these cold winter days!) I am always excited to try out new flavors and loved the new ones a few from Lipton that I tried for this post. My favorites include: lemon ginger, purple acai blueberry green tea, and enticing chai. The multi-sensory teas refresh standard tea time, creating an exciting and unique tea-drinking experience. Check out the full line-up of Lipton Green, Black and Herbal tea flavors here.
Tell me, what are your favorite ways to relieve stress?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.