9 Healthy Ways of Coping with Stress and Depression
When we feel physical pain, most of us don’t hesitate to seek the help of a doctor to help us feel better. Unfortunately, many of us hesitate to seek professional help when we experience mental health challenges.
Constantly being under stress, for example, is not an issue you should just ignore. Of course, everyone feels stressed out at least once in a while. But enduring too much stress can negatively affect your body and mental health.
If you are depressed or regularly feeling angry, irritable, worried, lonely, or unable to focus on anything, you have to act. Your mental health and your happiness are worth it. Consider speaking to a therapist, a counsellor or a psychiatrist. In some cases, you may benefit from visiting a mental health clinic Ontario, where you will be presented with a personalized treatment.
Here are nine healthy ways of coping with stress:
1. Take a break from social media
Do you see a lot of negativity on your social media feeds? Don’t argue online with friends or strangers, as these interactions are bound to cause stress. Reading negative comments will make you feel angry or sad, aggravating your stress. Instead, you should simply take a break from social media.
That means unplugging for the rest of the day or staying away from it all for an entire month. This social media break should help you feel better and cope with stress in a healthy way.
2. Say no without feeling stressed
If you are under a lot of stress because people ask too many things from you, the solution is to learn how to say no without feeling bad about it.
You don’t have to be a superhero for anyone. Whether your boss, neighbour, or kids, learn to say no to them. Prioritize yourself whenever their needs and demands negatively impact your mental health.
3. Start a journal to make your stress easier to handle
Sometimes, the best way to cope with your feelings is to write them down. If a situation leaves you frustrated or anxious, take a moment to find the right words to describe why you are feeling this way.
The simple act of writing it all could relieve the pressure and help you feel better. You could also start a gratitude journal and take a few minutes each day to focus on positive things and write them down.
4. Exercise for stress relief
When we are under stress, our nervous system releases cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that increase our heart rate and blood pressure.
When you feel stressed, you can help it get rid of these stress hormones by moving your body. Plus, exercising helps your system release endorphins, making you feel good. A good workout can help you calm down, release tension, and fall asleep faster when it’s time to go to bed.
5. Mindfulness and meditation for stress
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help you cope with stress. But if you are new to meditation, it can be difficult to do it right on your own.
The solution is to try a guided meditation. You can find many of them online, and there are also meditation apps you can download on your phone. Whenever you feel stressed out, take a moment to sit with your phone, listen to a guided meditation, and breathe.
6. Enjoy your hobbies
There are situations we can control, and others we just can’t. Instead of focusing on a situation that makes you feel stressed, engage in activities that make you feel happy.
It could be cooking, gardening, painting, reading, writing, dancing, listening to music, playing music, or even simply watching your favourite movie. Doing something you love doing will help relieve your stress.
7. Use essential oils for stress
Do you like aromatherapy? If you do, you already know that some essential oils, such as lavender, frankincense, geranium, orange, lemon, chamomile, and jasmine, can help us relax, reduce stress and anxiety, and lift our mood.
Get an aromatherapy diffuser, or simply open a bottle of your favourite essential oil and smell it whenever you feel stressed,
8. Limit caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can help relieve stress temporarily. But they are not a very healthy way to cope with stress, as too much caffeine and alcohol can make you feel much worse.
Take measures to limit your consumption of coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
9. Spend time with pets & loved ones
Finally, spending some time with people you love, or simply talking on the phone with a supportive friend, can help you cope with stress. Instead of staying alone with your unpleasant emotions, reach out to someone.
If you prefer, you can also cuddle with your dog or your cat, as bonding with your pet can instantly help relieve stress and anxiety.