April is National Stress Awareness month. It’s also spring, which means trees are budding, flowers are blooming, and the grass is turning green. The signs of new growth in Chicago will soon bring vibrant colors and sweet smells to delight in.
Spending time enjoying nature, whether inside or out, is a healthy activity for Chicago employees. Research has shown that “Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.”
Enjoying nature is just one of the many different things that can be done to help reduce stress and create a calmer state of mind. The key is remembering what works and what doesn’t. Below are six suggestions that everyone should consider.
Diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean sources of protein, and drink lots of hydrating beverages. Not only will you have more energy, but you’ll be able to deal with what the day brings more easily.
Exercise: Keep moving even if it’s only going for a walk or taking a yoga class online. Regular physical activity is necessary to maintain a healthy body, but it can also help relax the muscles and improve one’s mood.
Sleep: Getting enough sleep while feeling stressed out can be hard, but not getting enough can make it even tougher. Try to develop a healthy bedtime routine that encourages relaxation and includes turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and spending some time reading or meditating.
Feelings: Whether it’s talking with a trusted friend or family member or writing everything out, expressing what is causing stress is a great way to problem solve and let the brain know that you’ve got this.
Planning and Priorities: Take some time to think about what is important. From there, set some short-term goals. They might include planning ahead, getting organized or a list of healthy snacks to enjoy. Either way creating order out of what feels chaotic helps the brain to relax.
And finally, smile, laugh and have some fun. Whether it’s a new hobby or an old one, a funny movie or just being silly with family or coworkers, each of these activities is great for one’s mood and overall health.
While we may not be able to help Chicago essential employees exercise or get more sleep, we are here to provide refreshments including healthy snacks and beverages, fresh food and coffee service to their break rooms. Continuing to offer these services to essential employees will help them stay on-site during their workday and keep their focus on their responsibilities. For more information about our current services, please call Mark Vend at 847-291-9216.