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Stress Busters


Stress Busters
by Dana Dougherty Reinke


Self-care strategies proven to lower stress, so you can be at your best when the pressure’s on


Meditate on your own or download a guided meditation app and spend a
few minutes focusing on the present moment. Try noticing things you have to do anyway such as breathing, walking or brushing your teeth.


Twenty minutes outside during daylight hours significantly reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.


Ten minutes a day interacting with a cat or dog is a proven way to reduce stress.


Not only does moving your body regularly build stamina for long days of standing, it also reduces cortisol levels and helps your body produce endorphins which elevate mood and act as natural pain killers.


Write down what you’re grateful for at night, and why these things make you happy, to lower stress and help you feel calmer before bed.


Maximize your ZZZs by turning off your screens half an hour before
bed, setting the thermostat to a cool, comfortable temperature and making the room as dark as you can. Tip: Consider not working or reading in your bed so that when you do finally slide under the covers, your brain knows it’s time to sleep.


This may sound like a no-brainer but good nutrition boosts your immune system and gives you energy. Scientists are just starting to understand the link between nutrition and mood but it’s clear a link exists.


Researchers have found that even
mild dehydration can cause moodiness, trouble concentrating, headaches
and fatigue. And you might want to skip the caffeine. While moderate caffeine consumption (2-5 cups of coffee)
can perk you up, too much can make you jittery and worsen anxiety.


The most simple and effective stress buster is something you do all the time anyway. According to the American Institute of Stress website, 20 minutes of abdominal breathing a day increases the supply of oxygen to the brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Don’t have 20 minutes? Try this simple three-part breathing exercise: think of your favourite thing or place, something that makes you feel truly happy and calm; now assign a word to that place (i.e., water or beach). Now, repeat the word in your mind as you breathe in for a count of three, hold for three and breathe out for three. Do this for about a minute, four times a day. Within a few days you’ll notice sense of calmness as soon as you begin the exercise.


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