Pillar 1: FITNESS
PILLAR 1: FITNESS Feeling Stressed? 10 Tips to feel better & get fit at the same time!
Here’s an equation that with practice will make your life much better.
S=stress, F=fitness (mental + physical), R= RELIEF!!
Stress is hitting you up, down and sideways. YOU NEED HELP & these 10 TIPS WILL help you relieve STRESS.
TIP 1 : 5 min of high impact activity for quick relief
THE BEST, QUICKEST WAY TO ELIMINATE STRESS IS WITH AEROBIC ACTIVITY- activity that gets your lungs & heart working. With just 5 min of jumping jacks, running in place, quick stair steps, air boxing/kicking or other fast activity you can feel your mood improve! But has to be a full 5 min & you need to be panting/ completely out of breath by the end.
TIP 2 : 30 min of exercise to get your body releasing happy hormones for longer lasting stress relief
30 min of exercise will cause your body to release endorphins which are those wonderful happy hormones, & you will feel your stress drifting away.
- Dancing to 5 or 6 of your favorite songs
- Running around your neighborhood
- Completing an online youtube workout
- Playing a high impact sport like bball or soccer
TIP 3 : 1 hr of exercise to not only relieve stress but also FEEL GOOD for the longest lasting relief
After 1 hr your body can burn up all the stress toxins in your body & be pumping good feeling to every part of your body.
- Go for a long hike that has both hills and stairs, walk fast or jog most of it
- Join an organized fitness or dance class or sport event or a pick-up game
- Join a running club or take up and active hobby like skateboarding, surfing, biking
- Follow a circuit training course in a park or make up your own w cardio & strength training
TIP 4 : Avoid sugar, caffeine, substances, self-harm & taking it out on others
Stress might push you toward these, but fight the urge to get REAL & lasting relief.
- Cut sugar as it causes a burst of energy then a long crash & can make your mood worse. Fruit, a smoothie, nuts might curve the craving.
- Skip caffeine or you risk feeling jittery, unfocused, and even more irritable
- Pass by mind altering substances like alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, pills, etc. They aren’t a true cure & increase stress with their risks of brain damage, addiction, or in some cases even death
- Avoid self harm. It’s a distraction, not a solution & a big bag of negative side effects
- Try hard to not take your anger out on other people like friends, family or neighbors as that will lead to even more bad feelings, guilt and problems down the road
TIP 5 : Embrace the Nutrition side of FITNESS & stress relief
Diet & nutrition can greatly help with stress.
Fitness = Mental & physical health AND TO BE mentally & physically healthy you need good nutrition & sleep (TIP 6)
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water. A dehydrated brain doesn’t manage stress well.
- Manage your B, C, D, Magnesium & Omega 3 as these all help your body manage stress (consider eating extra dark leafy greens, citrus, mushrooms, fish & other high contenders)
TIP 6 : Sleep! Teen girls need 9-9.5 hrs every night
Because of the changes taking place in your body, you need more sleep as a teen than you did when you were 10!
- Shut off your phone 30 minutes before sleeping to clear your mind & avoid dry eyes which makes sleeping difficult
- Read a book before sleeping to clear your stressed mind & feel more relaxed
- A hot bath with Epsom salt can aid calming, good sleep & relaxation
TIP 7 : Follow a guided meditation, mindfulness, breathing or yoga practice
Meditation, mindfulness and yoga can alter your state of mind transition your brain out of stress mode
- Sign up for a U4U guided mindfulness, meditation & yoga class LINK
- Download an app like calm.com or find meditation or yoga sessions on youtube to meet your current need (goggle ‘meditation for stress relief’ or ‘yoga for stress relief’)
- Join a yoga class & or get books from the library to develop your practice
TIP 8 : Organize your mind & get your brain fit/focused
- First write down all the things you are worried about
- Rank the issues in order of importance & think about how you can manage them
- Make a plan: write a ‘to do list’, add actions to your calendar, take control!
TIP 9 : Gratitude walk or journal
Gratitude – being thankful – balances out feelings of hopelessness & despair which are key to stress
- Take a walk (ideally in nature) and think about 100 things big, small or tiny that you are thankful for (need inspiration to get started? I’m grateful I have two hands, can walk, have 2 legs, I’m grateful I can see, etc etc. I’m grateful for the pretty blue color of the sky, the light breeze I feel, etc)
- Call a friend or family member during a walk & express your gratitude for them; you will both feel stress relief
- Journal/write down gratitudes in words or pictures. List what experience or person made you happy today, this week, this month, …
TIP 10 : Hug for longer than 10 seconds
Hugging for 10 or more seconds can cause your body to release the hormone oxytocin which is known to reduce stress levels & calming
- Tell your parent, guardian, sibling or a trusted friend that you had a really tough day & could use a big long hug
- Sometimes asking for a hug can be tough, but you will be helping them & you so JUST DO IT! XOXOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Practice ALL of these tips, check them off as you go & keep track which tips help you the MOST! You are unique & can find what works best for you!
SHARE what worked for your or any tips of your own, write ‘stress tips’ in the subject line: LINK (to send email to U4U)
*This article speaks to general tips & concepts. Check with your doctor for tailored tips for you.
**Click here to find resources & professional sources for managing stress & anxiety
Here are all of U4U’s resources that were included in this article: