Healthy Ways to Cope with Stress

Hannah Sherman, Community Health Intern, Sarah Goldring, Extension Agent,, Gina Crist, Extension Community Health Specialist,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful and overwhelming. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will help you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient. Below are some ways to decrease your stress levels. This week, try to avoid electronics an hour before going to sleep. Instead, write down or think about 10 things you are grateful for. Or, find something else on this list to try out.

  • Take breaks from social media and electronics. Consider limiting news to just a couple times a day and disconnecting from phone, tv, and computer screens for a while.
  • Take care of your body- skin care, exercise, hydrate, sun protection, etc.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and fat–free or low–fat milk and milk products. Eating well also means limiting saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
  • Move more and sit less — every little bit of physical activity helps. You can start small and build up to 150 minutes a week that can be broken down to smaller amounts such as 20 to 30 minutes a day.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Even just taking one deep breath can make a difference in how you’re feeling.
  • Limit alcohol intake. Choose not to drink, or drink in moderation by limiting consumption (one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men) on days that alcohol is consumed.
  • Avoid smoking and the use of other tobacco products.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

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