Stress Management Plan
When I was gathering resources for my first stress portfolio, one picture left a deep impression. It says: “there are only two times I feel stress: day and night.” Yes, stress exists along with our whole life; it may seem that there is nothing that we can do about stress. The homework and exams will keep coming, there is endless study and work in the day, and our career and family responsibilities will always be demanding. However, the good news is that stress can be managed. The simple realization that you are in control of your life is the foundation of stress management. Managing stress is all about taking charge of your thoughts, emotions, schedules, and the way you deal with problems. Stress is not always bad. Eustress can be beneficial; however, more times we are suffering from distress which causes health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and takes a severe emotional toll. For this stress management plan, I’ll go through five main aspects which are nutrition, exercise, rest and sleep, relaxation, and developing hobbies to help manage daily stress. Nutrition
Stress and nutrition have always been linked. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Eating well through the day is my first stress dealing strategy. Start right with breakfast. There are a lot of times I do not feel hungry or do not have enough time to cook a nutritious breakfast in the morning. Usually I just end up with grabbing a piece of bread with a slice of turkey or ham, and then hurry to class. According to the research, breakfast is considered as the most important meal of the day; it helps to kick start metabolism for the day and also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels which will in turn reduce stress. So instead of waking up my body with a cup of coffee, I would drink some warm water and fruit juice. Also, having a whole-grain cereal and eggs would help me gain better nutrition than eating toasted bread. Eat well throughout the day. There are 350,000 different forms of edible plants on this planet. A variety diet is essential as different types and colors of food contain different vitamins and minerals. The body can get stressed by trying to break down the same food time and time again. So eating a ‘rainbow’ colors of foods will not only provide the body more nutrition and energy, but also help deal with stress. To beat stress through nutrition, you also need to pay attention to the consumption of sugar, salt, and caffeine, getting more fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoiding skipping a meal during a stressful day. Exercise
We all know that exercise is important in our daily life. It increases energy levels, improves muscle strength, reduces heart disease, enhances the immune system, reduces the risk of certain cancers, and so on. Meanwhile, exercise benefits our mind just as well as our body. It improves brain function, lower stress levels, and help prevent and treat mental illnesses like depression. Any kind of physical activity may help reduce and prevent the effects of stress. Even some gentle exercise like taking a walk works too. When I suffer through a stressful day, I’m more likely to refuse taking time to do exercise, but keep working on my things without a break. Even though I’m aware of the benefits of exercise, it’s hard to change my mindset under stress. But for the last few months, I forced myself to walk to school every day instead of driving. Doing so gives me at least a 20 minute walk every day and allows my brain to take a break. The 20 minutes’ walk did not reduce my work load, but increased the working efficiency. Therefore I can do the work faster with a higher quality, and reduce my stress level at the same time. Rest and Sleep
How we feel during the waking hours hinges greatly on how well we sleep. A good night's sleep makes us able to tackle the day's stress more easily. When we get tired, we are less...
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