With the one-year mark of the coronavirus pandemic swiftly approaching, stress levels are at an all-time high. The way you manage stress can make a real difference in your physical and mental well-being. Stress contributes to a host of illnesses, including potentially fatal illnesses and emergencies such as heart disease and stroke. Learning to decompress after a stressful day is good for you and your health. Here are a few tips for reducing stress and living a healthier lifestyle:

Treat yourself

Run yourself a relaxing bubble bath. There is nothing like the combination of warm water and beautiful bubbles to melt the stress away. Add candles, bath bombs, and music to complete your perfect stress-free atmosphere.

Movement

Take a walk or do some stretching, yoga or tai chi. Disconnect from all other distractions  and focus on your breath and movement. Even if you only have 15 minutes, you will feel calm and refreshed.

Disconnect

Resist the urge to check your email after working hours. Turn off your TV or smartphone for at least an hour before bed. Wind down with a bath or shower, good book or guided sleep meditation. Being plugged in for 24 hours a day is not good for your mental well-being. Getting the rest you need will reduce your stress and make you feel better, too.

Avoid Caffeine

Limit or avoid coffee, tea, soda and other caffeinated beverages while you are trying to relax and unwind. The caffeine will just make you jittery and make relaxing nearly impossible.

Ask for Help

Completing household tasks after a stressful day at work can add to stress and burnout. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Ask your spouse/partner, roommates or children for help to share the load. If you live alone, consider ordering out instead of cooking or hiring occasional housekeeping services.

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