Happy Saturday! It’s officially the weekend and hopefully you are finding time to relax and de-stress from the busy work week. Taking time to unwind is crucial for your mental and physical well-being. Research has found that people who report having high levels of stress tend to be more prone to serious illnesses, such as depression, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Here are five simple ways you can relax this weekend – and all week long.
Get outside. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can significantly reduce stress levels, so make time for a walk in the park or through your neighborhood this weekend. You don’t have to walk very fast to get a good cardiovascular benefit, and fresh air and beautiful scenery will certainly sooth your spirits.
Become a Yogi. Take a yoga class or pop in a DVD. By now, you’ve certainly heard that yoga is one of the best de-stressing exercises you can try, and with good reason. Yoga’s emphasis on proper breathing and concentration can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improve symptoms of insomnia, depression and anxiety.
Eat stress-busting foods. Experts say certain foods, such as avocadoes, milk, nuts, fish, greens, citrus and oatmeal can help your body overcome negative reactions to stressors. Try adding a few of these foods to your diet this weekend and throughout the week for good nutrition and de-stressing benefits.
Indulge yourself. When people think of indulgence they often think of food, but high-fat and high-calorie dishes can have the opposite of a de-stressing effect. Skip the sluggishness and guilt that comes from overdoing it with food and find non-food ways to treat yourself. Try pampering yourself with a manicure or professional massage, meet friends for a round of golf, see a movie, or buy yourself the book you’ve been eyeing.
Try meditation. Not only for yoga gurus or monks, meditation helps to calm your nerves, emphasizes proper breathing, and gives your mind time to slow down.