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8 simple ways to relieve stress

It’s been a stressful year with the COVID-19 pandemic, adjustments to the new normal and social distancing. Not to mention, productivity looks a lot different this year and for many, stress levels are through the roof. In addition, December 2020 is going to cause a lot more stress in many individuals as the country prepares for the festive season.

We want you to relax! You deserve it, it’s good for you, and it takes less time than you think. You don’t need a spa weekend or a retreat. We created a list of ways in which you can relieve stress.

  1. Listen to music

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try to remove yourself from that frame of mind with some music. It’s a well-known fact that music has a positive effect on the brain and body, and it can reduce blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. Also, it doesn’t have to be calm, soothing music either, bust out your jams and rock out! You will definitely feel better afterwards.

  1. Talk to a friend

When you’re feeling stressed, take a break and call a friend to talk about your problems and what is stressing you out. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle. A reassuring voice can put everything into perspective.

  1. Talk to yourself

Many of us are able to talk to ourselves when times get tough, just for a bit of reassurance. It also helps to level out what’s going on in your mind when you talk out loud. It’s often easier to find solutions to your stress when you give yourself a play-by-play and ultimately, you are your own best friend and who else knows you better than yourself?

  1. The right diet

Surprisingly, stress and a proper diet are closely related – who would have thought? When we’re overwhelmed or panicked, we often forget to eat or eat too much. Try to avoid sugary snacks when you’re stressed and resort to fruits, vegetables and even fish, since high levels of omega-3-fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress.

  1. Laugh out loud!

Did you know laughter releases endorphins that improve your mood and decrease levels of stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline? Laughing can actually trick your nervous system into making you happy. Mr Bean is an incredible pick-me-up. Who else can make millions of people laugh without saying anything?

  1. Drink tea

Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green or chamomile tea. Tea has a calming effect on the nervous system and contains healthy antioxidants.

  1. Exercise

Exercise does not mean lifting weights at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the house or simply stretching on the spot counts as exercise. Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood instantly.

  1. Sleep

Stress can cause you to lose sleep and it eventually becomes a vicious cycle. The lack of sleep is a key cause of stress. This causes the brain and body to get out of routine which only gets worse with time. Make sure to get your recommended 8 hours of sleep by turning the TV off earlier, shutting down your laptop, dimming the lights and giving yourself time to relax before going to bed.

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