Men’s Health Week 2016: 5 Ways to Relieve Stress
Men’s Health Week runs from June 13 to June 19 (Father’s Day). This year’s theme, stress management, is one that deserves some extra attention, especially from men working in the nursing field. When left unchecked, stress can contribute to a whole host of mental- and physical-health issues, which is why finding healthy ways to relieve stress is so important. To help male nurses and men in general, we decided to come up with healthy ways to relieve stress before it has a chance to cause problems. Here are some great ways to manage stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed:
- Take on a new hobby
Work-related stress can be difficult to manage, especially if you’re the type of person who has trouble keeping your home and work lives separate. One of the best ways to keep work-related stress at bay on your leisure time is to stay active by taking on a new hobby. What you decide to do doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you find something you enjoy and make an effort to spend more time doing it. For some people, finding an amateur sports league to participate in is perfect. For others, home projects, gardening, and other low-key activities are more enjoyable and better stress relievers.
- Talk about your feelings
Many men in the Western world have trouble opening up and talking about their feelings. Unfortunately, bottling up one’s feelings isn’t a healthy behavior; it makes it extremely difficult to identify and resolve the issues responsible for stress. If you have trouble talking about personal problems, work toward opening up more with someone close to you. Find a friend or a family member who you can vent to when needed. Even if your venting sessions fail to generate solutions, they will make you feel better!
- Exercise more often
Not only is exercise great for improving your overall health and confidence, it’s a great stress reliever! There are a couple reasons why exercise is useful for combatting stress. First, intense exercise causes something known as runner’s high, which is a feeling best described as relaxed euphoria. The exact mechanics behind runner’s high aren’t known, but two types of chemicals, namely anandamide and endorphins, are likely responsible. Second, regular exercise helps to improve sleep quality, which brings us to our next suggestion:
- Get some sleep
Getting plenty of sleep is one of the best things you can do to preserve your physical and mental health. If you don’t get enough, there’s a good chance that your lack of sleep is increasing your stress and affecting your overall mood. In fact, the consequences of insufficient sleep include negative impacts on one’s mood, judgement, and ability to learn and retain information. Do yourself a favor and start getting more sleep. Keeping a regular sleep schedule, reducing caffeine intake, and exercising routinely are all things you can do to help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.
- Spend time with friends and family
Spending time around the people you love is a great way to take your mind off the things causing stress in your life. Getting out and enjoying life with others helps to keep your attention focused on the present, not on potential problems and other stressors. Additionally, spending more time with friends and family fosters the type of relationships that protect against short- and long-term stress. Simply having a strong circle of people to turn to when you’re feeling overwhelmed is often enough to keep stress under control.
Additional stress-management resources
For additional ideas and strategies on stress management, be sure to check out the following hand-picked resources:
American Heart Association: The American Heart Association produces a wide variety of information on heart-healthy living. Their stress-management resources contain a wealth of information on the negative effects of stress and methods for keeping it under control.
The American Institute of Stress (AIS): AIS is dedicated to improving community and worldwide health by generating research and providing education on stress-related topics. Click here to check out their stress-management tips!
What have you found to be helpful in reducing stress? Do you have any tips that could help to reduce the stress in our readers’ lives? If so, be sure to share them by leaving a comment in the section below!