I went to a local spa to get a massage yesterday and happened upon an article on wellness and simple stress relief practices that made a lot of sense. Stress is obviously one of the main reasons massage therapists are in business so this article was definitely appropriate. And it’s not like this was the first time I’ve read articles about stress, however this one had some simple and practical ideas that I will follow.
We all have stress in our lives-from work to kids to aging parents to aging in general-our lives are full of it. And even during those times when you feel most relaxed (sitting on a beach watching the sunset for me) there is still stress manifesting itself in various ways throughout your body. (my “stress” area is my shoulders and neck-fairly common for people who sit at a computer as much as I do!)
Here are some simple ways to combat stress on a regular basis:
- BREATHE-apparently most of us are not taking the time to really breathe properly. Every morning, taking deep breaths will help start your day off on a better note.
- EXERCISE-this is no surprise. We all know that exercising on a regular basis will help relieve stress. Whether you are into yoga, cycling, running or even walking, getting exercise as part of your regular routine is a must. I know I typically feel less stressed after a day of skiing or playing tennis , riding a spin bike or just taking a hike.
- EAT UNTIL YOU FEEL 80% FULL-so this was news to me. Apparently, if you only eat until you are 80% full instead of completely full, your body appreciates that.
- DRINK LESS ALCOHOL-this seems backwards to me! If I want to unwind after a crappy day or week, I usually want have a drink of some kind. At the same time, I do realize that most alcohol is considered a depressant and I typically wake up not feeling 100% the next day. I’m aware of this and am definitely making an effort to drink less.
- SOCIALIZE MORE-again, women typically have no problem with this one-(although now you’re asking me to drink less, so that may affect my ability to socialize more!). As a gender, we are drawn to other women and opportunities to get together-and of course, drink wine. (ok, maybe it’s coffee now!) What you may not realize is this is actually stress relieving for all of us. We vent, we listen, we share-and it’s all a great way to help us feel connected and less stressed.
- BE AWARE OF YOUR POSTURE-I’m guilty of not doing this all the time. Sitting at a desk all day, it’s fairly normal for me to not be sitting up straight-and believe it or not, it adds to your stress. Simple solution-just try to be more aware of how you sit/stand.
- GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP-another no brainer, but at the same time I struggle with this. I seem to be waking up earlier on a regular basis and I don’t feel that rested. I find myself taking a “nap” before I actually fall asleep for the night-and then I’m awake for another hour or so. 5:30AM rolls around and I’m awake-and I don’t need to get up at that hour! I’m working on ways to sleep better and longer..
- TAKE MAGNESIUM-another new one for me. Read the article below about how your magnesium levels affect your stress levels. I’m definitely going to start taking magnesium to see if it has any effect for me. Of course, there are other amino acids/ supplements that help with stress as well, however this is the one that I wanted to highlight
And last but not least, getting a massage on a regular basis is super helpful. However, they are expensive so it’s not something I do or will do on a regular basis. My solution-My gym offers 10-15 minute massages from a massage therapist that do the trick for me once a month. They are affordable and I leave the gym feeling better-and of course, a little less stressed!
Feel free to add any additional comments about stress relievers that work for you!