Take a break when you become overwhelmed. Short breaks can help alleviate built-up stress, which in turn helps you feel better and think more clearly. Taking a “micro-break” (about 5 minutes) can improve your mental acuity by an average of 13%!
- Ask for help – share feelings and don’t try to cope alone. Simply talking to a friend may help you lighten your load, reduce stress, and stay calm – plus, just getting your stressors out into the open can make them easier to resolve! Interested in talking to a professional?
- Exercise regularly. Take a walk outside and you will not only get fresh air, but you will also increase your vitamin D intake, take in more natural light and improve your concentration which can help you relax and cheer up.
- Eat healthy foods. Stay nourished with a diverse and energy-filled diet which is one key to effective concentration, a stable mood, and reduced stress.
- Avoid all-nighters and get enough sleep. Try to get 6 or more hours of sleep every night. Your mind’s effectiveness (including your attention span, information recall and reasoning skills) is significantly decreased when deprived of sleep.
- Relax before bed. Do something relaxing before bedtime to help your brain unwind and get your mind and body ready for sleep. Take a hot shower, listen to relaxing music or do some relaxation exercises.
- Avoid using alcohol, drugs, or caffeine to manage stress. Limit or eliminate these substances from your daily routine. Caffeine is widely used for alertness, but can have the unfortunate consequence of increasing levels of stress due to its physiological effects on the body. Further, substances like alcohol disturb sleep patterns when ingested too close to bed time, which can in turn raise stress levels.
- Keep a journal. Write in a journal to keep track of your progress towards achieving your self-care goals. Journaling is an empowering way to clear mental clutter, unplug and recharge, stay grateful and reduce overall stress.