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How to combat stress

Exercise - Exercise is the key for your head, just as it is for your heart.  It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.  Exercise reduces levels of the body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.  It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators.

Nutrition - Your brain needs a mixture of nutrients in order to stay healthy and function well, just like the organs in your body.  A diet that's good for your physical health is also good for your mental health.  There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel.

Drink sensibly - We often drink alcohol to change our mood.  Some people drink to relieve stess but the effects are only temporary.  When the drink wears off you feel worse becuase of the way alcohol withdrawal symptoms affect your brain and the rest of your body.  Drinking is not a good way to manage difficult feelings.  Apart from the damage too much alcohol can do to your body, you would need more and more alcohol each time to feel the same short term boost.

Me time - A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health.  It could be a half an hour lunch break at work to get out for a walk or a weekend somewhere else exploring somewhere new.  Taking a break may mean being active or it might mean doing not a lot at all.  Make time to take a deep breath and relax.

Sleep - Listen to your body, if you're really tired give yourself itme to sleep.  Without good sleep our mental health suffers and our concentration goes downhill, sometimes the workd can wait.

Talk to someone - A friend, a partner, a professional.  A problem shared is a problem halved as they say.

Mindfulness - Mindfulness is one of the best ways to deal with stress.  Mindfulness is described as the psychological process of bringing your attention to the external and internal experiences happening in the present moment.  Try apps like head space or heading to a yoga class.

Time management - Time management is a good way to prevent and cope with stress.  Managing your time allows you to have a balanced professional, personal and social life.

Laugh - I think one of the best ways to feel less stressed is to have some fun.  Meet up with friends and laugh!

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