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Feeling stressed or dealing with anxiety? We have eight easy stress management strategies to help you cope with everything life throws your way.If you need a break but have no vacation on the horizon, try these de-stressing strategies to help you cope.
1. Focus on food.
What you eat can significantly impact your ability to manage stress in your life. Skip that quick feel-good hit of sugar when you're grumpy and grab something fresh like a piece of fruit or a smoothie. Why? The foods you nosh on impact your immune system and your blood sugar, which can help regulate the way you feel overall. "Focus on including more plant-based, organic, non-GMO foods in your diet such as fresh fruits and vegetables for their rich source of antioxidants like vitamins A and C, plus raw nuts and seeds for their healthy dose of vitamin E, selenium, zinc and essential fatty acids," recommends Jenn Pike, a holistic nutritionist and author of The Simplicity Project, based in Keswick, Ontario. Stock up on beans and lentils along with lean sources of protein such as organic eggs, wild fish and small amounts of grass-fed beef to help support the immune system.
2. Spice things up.
Herbs and spices are chock full of stress-fighting antioxidants, says Pike. Plus, they give flavour to dishes without adding fat or calories. Which ones should you try? Ginger acts as an anti-nauseant, cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, turmeric has cancer-fighting properties, cayenne has anti-fungal properties and garlic can help boost your immune system. "All of these herbs and spices can help fight the bad and increase the good," says Pike, which will leave you feeling ready to take on each day.
3. Get your blood pumping.
If you're feeling stressed, nothing beats a bad mood faster than some exercise-induced endorphins. Get outside for a walk, join a yoga class, lift weights, try one of these indoor workouts or hit the slopes, recommends Pike. Most importantly, find something that you really love so that you actually enjoy the workout.
4. Try tub time.
Take a bath with Epsom salts to reduce inflammation and essential oils such as lavender to loosen tense muscles, recommends Pike. Use additional oils like uplifting grapefruit and wild orange or specific immune-boosting blends as your daily moisturizer. Make sure to dilute your oils with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, sesame or jojoba oil.
5. Write it down.
Turn off the television and break out a journal. Writing out your feelings can help you to manage anxiety and help you become more optimistic. "The Five Minute Journal has become a ritual of joy and deep gratitude for me," says Pike.
6. Take a deep breath.
Put on your favourite playlist and try and take a few deep breaths. "It's one of the simplest things we can do for ourselves to bring a sense of calmness and decrease our stress," says Pike. Plus, it doesn't cost a thing.
7. Hug it out.
Spend time with friends and family and make sure to include lots of hugs, recommends Pike. Studies show that frequent hugs helped protect people from getting sick by reducing their stress levels.
8. Try meditation.
Sign up for a meditation course, download an app or read a book about how to get started. If you can't seem to quiet your mind solo, start with a guided class before attempting your own practice.