As you sit down at your desk to write your proposal, or attend a morning debrief on a construction site, you find your to-do list growing, along with an overwhelming feeling of stress.
What do you do to clear your mind so you can be productive in your day?
Stress is the second most frequent health problem according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and seven out of ten adults in the U.S. experience stress and anxiety daily1. Regardless if the stress is triggered by an issue at home, a difficult work task, or even a positive stressor, it is best to know what to do when the problem arises, rather than coping with it in negative ways.
Knowing how to deal with the stress in your life can help prevent obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, according to Remote Medical International remote health care provider Tony Shope.
“Stress has a negative effect on most all long term diseases,” says Shope.
We asked for some tips on how to lower stress levels from Shope and our Assistant Medical Director Richard Misiaszek, who often see patients with stress-related health issues. At Remote Medical International, we support our clients and their workers in living a balanced and healthy life. Here are four health and wellness tips to help you achieve that life and lower your daily stress levels.
1. Set a healthy routine
When you’re on the go and don’t have a consistent schedule, it’s easy to develop high stress levels due to inconsistent living situations, long work days, or even physical labor. With all these variables, Shope recommends a healthy routine to keep your mind straight and stay on top of your health.
“No matter what you do, whatever your job is, everyone has their day-to-day stressors, and with a routine you can feel like a better person,” says Shope.
However, setting a healthy routine is key. If you have a habit of eating unhealthy and not exercising, a routine is not going to help you reduce your stress levels. Choosing healthy eating habits, exercising during the day, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can all positively affect your body’s health and keep your mind clear.
“A routine allows me to be the most balanced person I can be,” says Misiaszek. “Without taking care of yourself, it’s hard to be as effective in whatever you do.”
According to Misiaszek, exercise is a great way to clear your mind and concentrate on an activity that can improve your body’s health. Setting aside some time during your day, even if it just means leaving your desk for an afternoon walk out of the office, can alleviate stress and help you focus.
It’s recommended by the department of health and human services to exercise at least 75 minutes a week with vigorous aerobic activity2. By producing endorphins, running makes your mind and body feel good, which can increase your self confidence, improve your sleep, and help fight depression and anxiety2.
According to one research study, subjects saw 17 percent lower negativity levels on days they worked out4.
Yoga is another exercise that can help lower your stress levels, enhancing your mood and overall sense of well-being4. With yoga, you can manage chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
According to a research study of 131 subjects, all saw a reduction in stress, anxiety, and overall quality of life after doing yoga for just 10 weeks5.
Running and yoga are not the only options for daily exercise. Consider swimming, walking, playing volleyball with a friend, or lifting weights in the gym.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that if you have health concerns or haven’t been physically active in a while, consult your doctor first before starting a new activity.
3. Stay away from substance abuse
Stress levels can often influence unhealthy behavior and it is important to understand the negative effects of drinking or using drugs. While it’s healthy to occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner, it’s unhealthy overall to binge drink or abuse narcotics.
The Mayo Clinic defines moderate drinking as one drink a day for women of all ages and men over the age of 65, and two drinks a day for men younger than 65. Keeping an active lifestyle and eating healthy are key if you plan to drink moderately through your week.
While moderate drinking may not heavily impact your health, binge drinking can lead to health problems such as liver disease or cancer8. According to the CDC, 23% of adult men report binge drinking five times a month and 12% adult women report binge drinking three times a month.
Binge drinking is defined as three drinks a day or more than seven drinks a week for women and men older than 65, and more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks a week for men younger than 65, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Substance abuse is a slippery slope and can create real problems down the road,” says Misiaszek.
According to Misiaszek, substance abuse can affect your life in many negative ways. Abuse can create a host of health problems such as high blood pressure, cardiac and liver disease, certain types of infection, as well as significant mental health issues such as severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Death from overdose has become extremely common due the widespread availability of narcotics along with a supply that could be contaminated with high potency ingredients.
In 2017, the United States saw an estimated 72,000 drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC. Most were related to synthetic opioid abuse9.
While it has many unhealthy affects on your body, relationships can also take a toll. You can burn bridges, or possibly lose your position at your job, because you weren’t able to perform your daily tasks after a night of drinking or other substance abuse. Be mindful of what you are consuming and avoid abusing alcohol and narcotics.
4. Find an activity that works for you
Not every stress-relieving activity works for everyone. The best thing to manage the stress in your life is to find an activity that clears your mind and calms your body, according to Misiaszek.
“Find something that makes your mind and body feel good, and do that,” says Misiaszek.
Everyday stress can become overwhelming and it sometimes helps to talk it through with someone you feel comfortable around. While Shope patrols a work site, he can spot someone who’s not acting like themselves or is having trouble with a current activity. After taking the time to speak with these worker, he finds listening to their current problems helps them feel acknowledged and release some stress.
“The beauty of our position on these jobs, is we have time to talk to these workers and ask how they’re doing,” says Shope. “Just having someone listen can make it a whole lot better.”
Finding activities to do with friends like listening to music or enjoying a new restaurant can help reduce stress levels. You can go to concerts, ski down a mountain, or spend a day at a museum.
According to Shope, workers voice their frustrations with exercise or activities, saying they don’t help relieve their stressors from the day. Shope’s advice is to keep trying.
“I enjoy going to the gym, and shooting at the range,” said Shope. “But it’s different for everyone.”
Having on-site medical providers like Shope can help keep your workers healthy and safe. Want to learn how Remote Medical International can help you and your employees lower stress levels with our on-site medical services? Contact us today at remotemedical.com.
- Physical Activity Reduces Stress
- Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress
- HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY KEEP RUNNING DURING STRESSFUL TIMES
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life
- A randomised comparative trial of yoga and relaxation to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Alcohol: Weighing risks and potential benefits
- Fact Sheets – Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Men’s Health
- Fact Sheets – Excessive Alcohol Use and Risks to Women’s Health
- CDC: 2017 worst year yet for drug overdoses