How to Cope with Stress: 5 Simple Tips to Help You Stay Sane

Sometimes, life throws us curveballs. When we're bombarded with deadlines, bills, and difficult life situations that seem to keep piling on one after another, it can feel like we're drowning in a sea of pressure without any relief.

One of the worst feelings about stress is when you don't know how to deal with it. When your panic starts taking over, you start racing through the days without being able to stop yourself from worrying constantly — no matter what you do.

We all know that stress can be incredibly destructive to our mental and physical health, so it's crucial not just to recognize when we're feeling overloaded but also to learn how to deal with it in the best way possible. It can feel impossible to escape without help — but there are some things we can do to manage the anxiety that comes along with stress so we can push through it and start moving forward again.

1. Set aside a stress-free time each day for yourself.

It can be just twenty minutes of quiet alone time in your room or a quick walk around the neighborhood. Or it could be something special at home (like a massage) or something fun in nature (like time on the beach). Doing something just for you can give you the energy to tackle what comes next.

2. Breathe.

When you’re stressed (or overwhelmed by too many tasks), your breathing can become shallow and rapid. Breathing deeply slows your heart rate and can reduce feelings of stress, panic, and even pain. The next time you feel stressed for a long time or feel your heart beating faster than usual, try taking deep breaths and see if it helps.

3. Get enough sleep.

It’s not always easy to get the right amount of sleep (eight to ten hours a night). But if you find yourself stressed out more than usual, it might be a good idea to check how much sleep you are getting on an average night. Along with making sure you’re getting enough sleep in general, make sure your sleeping environment is calm, quiet, and dark so it’s easier to fall asleep when bedtime comes around.

4. Get outside.

Spending time in parks, outside cafes, in the backyard, or even just sitting on a bench near trees has been proven to reduce stress. Just about any outdoor activity can help you feel more relaxed and better able to deal with pressure. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by too much to do or too little time to do it, get outside for a break and see if it helps you feel better.

5. Take care of your body.

Stress can make you feel unhealthy, so it’s a good idea to work on your body health as much as possible. To start with, do things that make you feel good, like exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep. But when you’ve done those steps, you might want to work on how your body feels — and how it looks. 

If you don’t feel like doing the things that make your body healthy and strong (like eating healthy foods), take a few moments to not act out of habit. Be gentle with yourself in these moments, and then look at what is the best thing for your body right now. Treating yourself well can help you be a happier, healthier person.

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