Although “stress” can be a difficult thing to define, everybody has felt the sense of anxiety or exhaustion of having more responsibilities and tasks than time to complete them all. Here are a few quick and simple tips to help deal with stress at any time of the year.
Get Enough Sleep
It can be tempting to burn the candle a little longer to catch up on the news on facebook or watch one more TV show, but it can have a significant impact on our energy and stress levels during the day. Sleep deprivation, even of ½ hour, can lead to fatigue, impaired memory and a less stable mood. If you fall behind on sleep, all is not lost. You can catch back up with a solid night of 9-10 hours of sleep and be back in fighting shape. A regular sleep schedule of 8 hours per night goes a long way in reducing stress and making us feel our best.
Meditation, whether seated or active, is an excellent tool for dealing with day-to-day stress but it also improves sleep quality, decreases high blood pressure and improves outcomes in many health conditions, like depression and heart disease. The classic seated meditation with focus placed on the breath is an excellent choice to help to calm and relax the mind. A walking meditation is another great choice, especially if you’re not getting enough exercise. The object of this meditation is to focus on what you are doing, pay close attention to the movements of your body and to your surroundings while letting the rest go.
Relax to a Tea
There are a few different herbs which have a calming effect on the nervous system, including lemon balm and chamomile. Lemon balm is a favourite of mine as it induces a warm, comfortable feeling that is perfect for when you feel a bit on edge, nervous or if you need some help getting to sleep. Lemon balm also has benefit on the digestive system and has been traditionally used to treat “nervous stomach”. Lemon balm tea can be purchased at your local health food store.
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