The constant juggle of work, family and other responsibilities can cause anybody to feel stressed. And stress is not only unpleasant, it can have negative ramifications on your health, including stomach upset, fatigue, headache and even depression and drug abuse, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Luckily, a bit of self-care goes a long way. Here are five great ways to ease tension and reduce symptoms of stress.
1. Have a spot of tea. Drinking black tea leads to lower post-stress cortisol levels, according to a University College London study. Brew yourself a cup and take a few minutes to relax.
2. Play piano. Playing piano can reduce stress, according to a study published in the International Journal of Music Education. And you can play whenever you need to take a minute to reduce stress, as keyboards come in all sizes these days. If you don’t have space for a keyboard, check out piano apps for Android or iOS systems.
3. Keep a journal. Spend a few minutes each day or when the mood strikes putting pen to paper. Writing in a journal can help you get things off your chest, and can have effects similar to meditation.
4. Get moving. Aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. So, put on some sneakers and get moving.
5. Get together with friends. Close friendships are a great outlet to express oneself, get positive feedback and laugh, which can ease stress and tension. Even when you’re busy, be sure to carve out time for friends.