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My Top 4 Tips to Managing Stress

Authored By: Lonna Battles on 1/18/2022


We are living in stressful times and it's easy to get overwhelmed. But did you know? Stress can affect you mentally and physically and make it difficult to concentrate When you experience long-term stress your brain is prone to increased levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the “fight or flight” response in your body. Increased levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, fatigue, and irritability. This constant exposure can also weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. While we may not be able to control our environment, we can control how we react and take care of ourselves. In this post, I discuss four steps that you can take to reduce stress and lead a more productive lifestyle.


  1. Exercise! I know you’ve heard it all before, but exercise decreases stress. Exercise helps reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and stimulates the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the mood elevators in your body. Also, exercise has physical benefits. As you become more fit your self image improves, and you start to feel good about yourself and accomplishments. Focus on setting some fitness goals for yourself and track your progress. Start small so you won’t be discouraged. Even 20 minutes a day can help!


  1. Get Enough Sleep – We’re back to discussing cortisol, the stress hormone in your body. A lack of sleep can increase the cortisol in your body, and too much cortisol can lead to weight gain and cardiovascular issues over time. Sleep has proven to drastically reduce anxiety and increase your ability to process stress positively. How much sleep do you need? The National Sleep Foundation suggests that 18-64 year olds need anywhere between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. But, you should also figure out how much sleep you need by how you feel during the day.

Healthy Eating Habits

  1. Practice Healthy Eating Habits. I know, it’s easier said than done, especially when you are tight on time and/or working under deadlines. While stress can negatively affect blood pressure and blood flow, eating nutrient-rich foods can improve blood flow and help boost your immunity. Eat regularly and stock up on those veggies, healthy fats, and high fiber foods. Limit your daily intake of caffeine. While caffeine does provide that "pick me up" it can also increase anxiety when you have too much.

Another option to consider, which may save you time and money, is a subscription meal plan. Check out my blog titled Comparing Meal Plan Memberships. There are dozens of meal subscription services available which cater to every diet possible. Meals can take as little as 20 minutes to prepare. Some services provide healthy meal options that are already prepared and just need to go into the oven or microwave.

Take Breaks

  1. Take breaks. It may seem like such a simple thing to do but it can make a difference in your day. Take a few minutes to step away from your desk. Take the dog for a walk, connect with a friend or family member, take a few deep breaths and do a brief meditation. Sometimes just having a brief distraction can help provide you with a fresh perspective when you go back to the task at hand.

I would recommend starting with a couple of these steps to get you going in the right direction. Another thing to consider when trying to reduce stress is to develop a daily routine to help manage your time. You may want to check out my blog titled How to Create a Daily Routine in 5 Steps. Whatever you do, don’t stress about these steps!


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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