Let’s face it, life can be stressful. Whether it’s stress from work, home, friends, etc., it can come from anywhere. It can trigger us to start choosing bad habits, and these bad habits can add up over time, becoming detrimental to our health. The higher amounts of stress that someone has, the higher the likelihood that they will have some form of mental and physical health issues. In an effort to stave off these possible negative outcomes, it is important that we practice some self-care in order to decrease our stress levels to a manageable degree. As a physical therapist, here are my go-to essentials for practicing self-care.
This has been something consistent in my life since high school and college when I was playing baseball, though over the past few years I’ve taken it a bit more seriously and have structured a few more goals. That’s the nice thing about exercise though, there’s a wide array of what you can do along with different levels for every ability. The important thing that matters is that you’re moving and sweating to get the beneficial mental effects. Not only does it help you reduce your stress, it will help make you more resilient over time3,4.
Stress triggers our fight, flight, or freeze response, and it is often viewed as a negative situation. What if we were to reframe our thinking towards stress? Current research shows that reframing stress allows our body to instead have a positive physiological reaction to stressful situations, thus reducing negative biomarkers associated with stress increases5. Changing your thinking will allow you to view stress in a more positive light and reduce your overall negative stress levels.
This doesn’t have to take up a huge block of time, and it can cover a wide range of activities. It could be taking some extra time to get ready in the morning, or just taking your dog for a walk. It gives a chance to disconnect with what stressors you are facing and take some time to reconnect with yourself. The overall message is to make yourself a priority, you deserve it.
For more stress management tips, or if pain is getting in the way of performing the activities mentioned above, connect with one of our movement experts who will address your current condition and provide recommendations for next steps to help you feel your best. Get started by scheduling a free assessment with a team near you! Free Assessments are available in-person and virtually through our Telehealth platform.
*Per federal guidelines, beneficiaries of plans such as Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, VHA and other federally funded plans are not eligible for free assessments.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Schneiderman N, Ironson G, Siegel SD. Stress and health: psychological, behavioral, and biological determinants. Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2005;1:607-628. doi:10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.1.102803.144141
2. Yaribeygi H, Panahi Y, Sahraei H, Johnston TP, Sahebkar A. The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI J. 2017;16:1057-1072. Published 2017 Jul 21. doi:10.17179/excli2017-480
3. Childs E, de Wit H. Regular exercise is associated with emotional resilience to acute stress in healthy adults. Front Physiol. 2014;5:161. Published 2014 May 1. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00161
4. Herbert C, Meixner F, Wiebking C, Gilg V. Regular Physical Activity, Short-Term Exercise, Mental Health, and Well-Being Among University Students: The Results of an Online and a Laboratory Study. Front Psychol. 2020;11:509. Published 2020 May 26. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00509
5. Liu JJW, Ein N, Gervasio J, Vickers K. The efficacy of stress reappraisal interventions on stress responsivity: A meta-analysis and systematic review of existing evidence. PLoS One. 2019;14(2):e0212854. Published 2019 Feb 27. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0212854