September 1, 2023 Back to Reality
Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end and that means back to school, back to work, back to reality. With vacation time over and sweater weather right around the corner, jumping back into things can be hard for many of us. In fact, heading back to the classroom or the office can be an anxiety- and stress-inducing time. And that stress often manifests itself physically and emotionally. Read on to discover some things you can do to ease stress and tension.
What is stress?
First, let’s take a quick look at stress. When you feel threatened, whether by a real or perceived threat, a chemical reaction occurs in your body. Known as the stress or fight-or-flight response, this reaction helps prevent injury and avoid harm. Typically, it is accompanied by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tightening, and accelerated breathing. Basically, your body is set to react and protect itself.
Symptoms of stress
Stress affects us all and a little bit of stress is okay. But too much stress can cause emotional and physical symptoms and can be harmful to your body in the long-term. As stress can mean different things to different people, symptoms of stress can vary considerably from one person to the next. But some common symptoms include: headaches, back pain, low energy, tense muscles, aches, insomnia, upset stomach, loss of appetite, irritability, moodiness, depression, nervous behaviour such as nail biting, among others.
Some ways to prevent or deal with stress
Stress is inevitable. But learning to cope with stress and manage it can be hugely beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Here are a few things you can try:
- Fresh air: a 2019 study found that taking a short (just 20 minutes) nature walk can significantly lower stress hormones. So why not head out to the park for a casual stroll on your lunch break and soak in the natural beauty around you?
- Laughter: as the saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine.” In fact, research suggests that laughing decreases stress hormones in the bloodstream. So stream your favourite stand-up routines or watch those hilarious animal videos and have yourself a good laugh.
- Exercise: exercise is a great way to relieve stress and tension, not to mention how important it is for your overall health and well-being.
- Diet and sleep: eating a well-balanced diet and getting a good night of sleep on a regular basis are key to staying healthy and coping with stress better.
- Relaxation techniques: yoga, meditation, tai chi, or breathing exercises can help quiet and calm the mind and considerably reduce stress.
- Time with loved ones: spending time with family or friends doing fun things can help ease stress. Additionally, being able to talk to someone about what is stressing you out is also a great outlet and can help you feel better. Make sure you reach out to the people you are close to for support.
- Other outlets: many people find a day at the spa or a massage are relaxing and helpful in reducing stress levels. Find what works for you and treat yourself.
- Magic Bag hot and cold compresses: long-term stress and tension can take a serious toll on your body. To relieve back pain and headaches—two of the most common symptoms of prolonged stress—apply a Magic Bag to the area.
As the days get shorter and the mercury falls, many of us will be feeling stressed about heading back to school or work. A little bit of stress is normal, but prolonged stress and tension can be harmful for the body and mind. If you are feeling abnormally stressed out or anxious, consult your doctor or mental health professional and get the help and support you need. For other physical symptoms—headaches, back pain, muscle tension, upset stomach—Magic Bag can provide all natural soothing relief. Get your Magic Bag hot and cold compress today.
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