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It sometimes doesn’t take much to feel completely overwhelmed and in need of some tips to de-stress. Sometimes, a little bit of stress can be good, but sometimes it can become too much and all-consuming. Here are some quick and easy strategies you can try to help wind down.

 

Have a digital detox

Sometimes looking at your phone, computer screen or television can become too much and may be trigger your anxiety. Digital detox interventions have been suggested as a solution to reduce negative impacts from smartphone use on outcomes like well-being or social relationships and can reduce stress in the short term. Try reducing your screen time, particularly before going to bed. The hour before your bedtime should consist of relaxing activities that don’t involve stimulating devices with screens. Having a better-quality sleep can also improve your mood and lower stress levels.

 

Take up a therapeutic hobby

Following on from digital detoxes, maybe swapping a TikTok scrolling session for an hour of reading could work to clear your head. Choose whatever hobby works for you. This might be meeting a friend for a coffee, going for a jog, meditating or practicing yoga. Taking part in physical activity releases cortisol which can help us manage stress . Being physically active also works as a good distraction by giving your brain something to focus on, thus making it a positive coping strategy for difficult or overwhelming times.

 

Will changing my diet help manage stress?

Here’s what the evidence base says.

  • Following a Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce symptoms in depressed subjects with diets including wholegrains, fruits, vegetables and fish.
  • Omega-3 supplementation has been shown to improve mood in comparison to placebos.
  • Carbs are not to be feared- glucose is essential for providing energy in the body and 20% of all energy required by the body is for the brain.

NB: If you’re struggling with chronic stress and you find that nothing helps, it’s important to speak to your GP or another professional who may be able to provide more support.

 

Useful links

Mind

Sleep Foundation

Mindfulness

Physical activity and mental health

Food and Mood fact sheet

 

Louise Bennion

Louise Bennion

Louise is 24 and living in Sheffield. She is currently working as a nutritionist in healthcare after doing a Master's in Nutrition with obesity and weight management. In 2019 she started her Loutritionist blog to communicate healthful messages. She is working with Nutritank to contribute to this educational platform and campaign for more nutrition education for medics.

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