Making Some “Me” Time: Tips for De-stressing

You’re probably well aware of how much you and your girlfriends do for those around you. Sometimes it seems as if you only do things for those around you. Not only is that draining, it’s also unhealthy.

One of the best things women can do to help lower stress levels is learning how to say no.

Stress comes about when you are faced with a challenge. Our bodies were made to respond to stress. Short-term stress can give you an extra push through a tough situation or that burst of energy needed to finish a difficult task. But chronic stress that never lets up can take a toll on you both physically and mentally. Being on the go constantly can bring about unhealthy levels of stress, which can bring with it unwanted effects on your overall health.

Negative Effects of Stress

Some of the long-term health effects of stress include:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Menstrual problems
  • Acne and skin problems
  • Depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders
  • Abnormal heart beats
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Take Time for YouMaking Some “Me” Time: Tips for De-stressing - In Content

The mental and emotional side effects of stress can cause major health problems in women if left untreated, according to Terez Metry, MD, of Belmont Physicians. She says one of the best things women can do to help lower stress levels is learning how to say no. “Many women tend to put themselves last and if you never make the time for yourself, you never get to do the things that are needed to stay healthy,” she says. “Say ‘no’ so that you have the time to exercise, go do some yoga, hang out with girlfriends, even talking. Make the time and make yourself a priority.”

Here are some other ways you can put yourself as a top priority and help lower that stress level:

  • Practice relaxation: Doing 15 minutes of deep breathing, meditation, stretching or yoga helps to relax the body. So does getting out and going for a walk.
  • Know your limits: Be willing to let go of things that don’t have a significant impact on your life. Know when your plate is too full, and practice saying no especially at those times.
  • Prioritize and get organized: Make a list of all you have to do, note what’s most important, and do that first. Choose the battles that are really crucial, and work at being flexible so you can give in now and then, or meet people halfway.
  • Talk it out: Sharing with others is a great stress reliever. Friends and loved ones often bring perspective to situations. Just having a sounding board can be a big help. When needed, seek professional help from a counselor.
  • Make time to do something you enjoy: Take a break from doing what you have to do, and indulge in something you want to do.
  • Take care of your body: Get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Dr. Chunn explains, “These all play a huge role in overall health.”

In addition to these steps, Dr. Metry suggests you visit your primary care physician regularly to be screened for stress-related illnesses. Aim for a wellness check-up at least every other year, and take a list of issues or stress symptoms with you.

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