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12 Ways to Beat Stress

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress symptoms can affect your health, even if you don’t realize it. Stress can cause headaches, anxiety, muscle tension or pain, restlessness, angry outbursts, chest pain, lack of motivation, over or undereating, social withdrawal, fatigue, irritability, sleep issues, depression, and much, much more!

April is Stress Awareness Month, so we thought some stress-reducing tips would be in order. Find the ones that work best for you and make them part of your routine.

  1. Take a breather. Literally. Take a deep breath in, and slowly let it out. Watch this deep breathing video by Shannon from our Living Plus Health and Wellness program and learn deep breathing techniques to relieve stress and anxiety.
  2. Stretch. Did you know that simple stretches can help relax your muscles and improve your flexibility? Here are 7 Stretching Exercises from SilverSneakers.
  3. Treat yourself. Small pleasures can go a long way to brighten your day and help you destress. It doesn’t have to be big — a paperback, a pair of fun socks, a fancy cupcake from the bakery (if not against your diet!).
  4. Call a friend or family member. Connecting with someone you care about can make a world of difference to both of you!
  5. Take a walk. It’s important to get some fresh air now and then. Take a break from the news, chores, or work, and get outside to clear your head.
  6. Go to the library. Or your local library’s website to check out books virtually.
  7. Color. There are tons of coloring books for adults out there. Grab some colored pencils or markers and let the creativity flow. You can also find free coloring apps for your smartphone that let you color, save, and share your creations.
  8. Volunteer. Helping others makes you feel good. Find a cause that’s important to you and contact the organization to see what (safe) volunteer opportunities they have available.
  9. Show gratitude. Send a thank-you note to a friend or family member — even if it’s just to thank them for being themselves. You’ll feel better and make their day.
  10. Tune out. Step away from the screens — TV, phone, computer. Shut down for a set amount of time that feels right for you.
  11. Write it down. When you’re feeling stressed, grab a notebook and pen and start writing. Releasing your feelings on paper can help relieve that overwhelmed feeling.
  12. Get moving. Go for a walk, dance around your living room — whatever strikes your fancy. Looking for something a little more structured? Check out the virtual classes offered with your SilverSneakers benefit!
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