Your checklist for a healthy summer (part 3): Stress management and relaxation

Urban Upscale has developed a 3-part checklist so you have the information you need to make this your best summer yet. Part 3, below, focuses on stress management and relaxation. Part 1 offered a quick list for leveling up your physical activity and part 2 focused on healthy eating.

The first two parts of this series focused on physical activity and healthy eating habits. But your health routine, summer or otherwise, should always include a focus on mental and emotional health. Here are a few quick suggestions for keeping your balance.

  1. Manage stress. Uncontrolled stress can lead to high blood pressure and may even affect your heart health so it’s important to have a strategy to manage your stress. There are many ways to manage stress, but it can be as simple as walking, exercising or talking with a friend.
  2. Make time for yourself. Easy to say, difficult to do. Time for yourself isn’t the 30 minutes you’re alone during your morning commute. Intentionally schedule time for a hobby, a movie or just quiet reflection. Give yourself the gift of solitude, totally off the clock with no to-do list.
  3. Take a nap. When was the last time you took a really good nap? Even a short nap is a great way to recharge and improve your mood. It may be especially effective if you’re stressed or if you have a busy day (or evening) ahead.
  4. Turn to the water. What is more relaxing than sitting on the beach watching the waves? Can’t get to the shore? Go for a long swim. If that’s not an option, take time to soak in a long relaxing bath. Whichever you choose, these water-based solo activities will help soothe your tired soul.
  5. Download a meditation app. If you’re not into meditation most of these apps offer a white noise setting. Consider “rainy night” or “waves crashing”, and allow it to play in the background as you settled into bed. No TV, no devices, just the sound. And maybe a scented candle.
  6. Yoga anyone? Okay, this may not be for everyone but you never know until you try. Yoga has well-known physical benefits, but it also improves your mood and may help you sleep better. If you’re a novice and feel out of place in a yoga class, try it at home with a beginners yoga video. You may find your new fit.
  7. Let the music play. Music is probably one of the most common and easily accessible ways to relax and enhance your mindset. Studies show that music can have a direct and positive emotional impact, generating memories and improving your mood. If you’re looking for a way to wind down you can’t go wrong with Wes Montgomery or Michael Franks.

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