5 WAYS TO DE-STRESS
by Rachael Stray
Rachael is a lifestyle blogger and lives the North East of England with her husband. She’s a born and bred proud Geordie. She writes about a little bit of everything from makeup and beauty, food reviews, how to tips and more. She is an NCTJ trained journalist who has spent the last three years working her way up the communications and PR ladder. She’s training for her first half marathon and working through a 30 things to do before she’s 30 bucket list.
Most of us will experience stress at some point in our lives, but constant or extreme stress is bad for both your mind and body. Stress can actually lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure and heart disease and can also make conditions like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia worse.
5 ways to de-stress
- Get active
Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you to deal with your problems more calmly. Exercising also releases endorphins which make you feel happier and also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
You don’t have to run a marathon but even just gentle walking or a good dance to your favourite songs can help to raise your heart rate and release those endorphins.
- Create a to-do list
If your mind is racing with everything you have to do tomorrow, sit down and put it all on paper or use the notes app on your phone to create a to-do list. This can help your mind to relax and let go of these tasks until the next day.
Keeping a pad of paper close to your bed is also really helpful in case you think of something that you need to add during the night without having to get out of bed.
- Put your phone on do not disturb
My phone is on “do not disturb” mode to help me switch off. Checking your phone every time it vibrates or pings isn’t a good habit. When your phone stops buzzing, you’re able to be present and then you can truly wind down and relax.
I have my phone set to go onto do not disturb mode from 9pm until 7am every night. I do allow repeat calls or calls from favourites in case of emergencies otherwise it is totally on silent and doesn’t flash up for notifications.
- Try some meditation
It can be hard to actually sit down and meditate but like most things these days there’s an app that can help! I personally like the Headspace app – there’s a variety of different meditations you can try with my favourite being the night-time meditations. The breathing techniques help you to slow down and calm your nervous system.
- Turn down the lights
Blue light plays havoc with your sleeping pattern – this is light from your mobile, tablet, laptop and TV. I try to limit my exposure to blue light before bed to help me get a better more restful sleep.
I have dimmed my backlight on my phone so it’s not as bright and we use small lamps and fairy lights in our room rather than the main bright light so we start winding down better. It’s also worth investing in a blackout blind or thick curtains to limit the light coming into your bedroom so you can have a relaxing undisturbed sleep.
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