5 Tips for Stress Management
There’s No Need To Stress!
Hey ya’ll. Let me introduce you to Kelsea. She is a nutrition student from SAIT. Since it’s IBS awareness month, and stress plays a HUGE role in IBS management, I thought I would get Kelsea to give her TOP 5 tips to manage stress. They’re great, and would work well not just for those with IBS and functional gut disorders, but everyone!
Hi guys, this is Kelsea! I am a nutrition student from SAIT, and I would love to share with you some tips on managing stress. How often in a week do you find yourself saying “I am so stressed out”, or even just thinking, ‘Life is so stressful!’ If you’re like the average person, it is pretty often. Life in the 21st century has become very busy, very demanding. We are all on a hamster wheel running and running, and instead of feeling like we are getting somewhere, we feel like we’re just running out of time!
“Keep running, you will get there!”
What exactly is stress? By definition, stress is a response that the body has to environmental pressure or demands. Sound familiar?
I am here to give you some tips that I use myself, to help manage stress! Because who are we kidding, our jobs aren’t going to work themselves, our children aren’t going to make their own dinners, and we aren’t going to stay fit without working out! So let’s find a way to continue meeting our commitments, while carving out a bit of time to manage stress positively.
1.Start a Stress Journal
This has to be one of the most helpful tools I have used. A stress journal is not a book where you pour out your feelings, or where you write out why your day was so terrible! This journal is kind of like a scorecard for each day. I suggest, at the end of each day, write down: what caused your stress that day? How you felt physically and emotionally? How you acted or responded? What did you do to feel better? If your answer to this question is nothing, that right there tells you that you can definitely do something to make a change. Lastly, and, most importantly, list one thing you’re grateful for that happened that day. A stress journal is a great tool for you to evaluate yourself, shift your perspective, and see what you could do differently the next day!
CSEP recommends that anyone aged 18+ should be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise each week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. It is also recommends to strength train 2 or more times per week using major muscle groups. This ‘150 minutes of exercise’ could be anything from a walk around the block, to a step class at your gym. Adding exercise into your daily routine will boost your energy levels, leaving room for you to get more done in your day. Having more energy to get things done means there’s less things to procrastinate… and you can probably guess that this will equal decreased stress (yay!). Not only does exercise increase your energy, but it also improves your sleep quality, which I know is something we all need.
3. Eat Breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast is like setting yourself up for a day of success. Think about it- the average person will sleep 6 to 8 hours. That’s 6-8 hours without eating! Where in the world is your energy coming from when you’re walking out the door in the morning? (No, a cup of coffee won’t do it).
You should always be starting your day off with some complex carbohydrates. These are a great source of fibre, and an even better source of energy. Next time you’re running out the door, grab an apple or a banana before you go! If you have even more time, heat yourself up some oatmeal. Trust me, this one small change will make a big difference for your day.
4. Prioritize Tasks
If you’re like me, you probably always have 10 or more things that need to be done, and usually in a limited time frame. This can be overwhelming, maybe even demanding, but don’t let that get to you. Writing a list can be the simplest, yet most helpful thing in the world. Prioritization means putting the long list of things you have in order from most important, to least important. Having this written down will train your mind to see how much there really is for you to do, and what is the best way to get it done. As you finish the tasks, check them off! The list will slowly start to shorten and you will feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish those tasks.
5. Replace Unhealthy Coping Strategies
All humans develop certain behaviours under certain circumstances. For example: snacking on chips when watching TV, or buying a pop whenever you are at the convenience store. In relation to stress, this could be eating sweets as a coping method for having too much work piled up, or procrastinating because you think work harder under pressure (I am guilty of this). Allowing yourself to keep these unhealthy coping strategies will do nothing more than increase your stress. It may actually make you develop stress for other reasons! If you can find ways to replace these strategies, by taking a walk, cutting up veggies to snack on, or even meditating for 10 minutes. You will notice a huge decrease in your stress level, guaranteed.
These are just 5 tips that work for me, and could possibly help you get through those long week days. (Or weekend days depending on your schedule)! Keeping a routine while incorporating these 5 easy tips will probably help you organize your life, and lower those stress levels.
If this post has intrigued you to make a change, here are 5 additional tips! Click on the link below to receive your own downloadable list… because there’s no such thing as being too relaxed.