Managing Stress

No one is a stranger to the effects of stress, and at some point we all struggle to cope with it. Unmanaged stress can contribute to many physical ailments such as high blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, menstrual cycle irregularities, low libido, and more. It can also exacerbate mental health conditions and worsen anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, stress is at an all-time high for many of us as we face unprecedented times. Read on for some sensible ways to manage your stress as you navigate this post-Covid world.

Exercise and Nutrition

Exercise and nutrition are some of the absolute best (but not always easiest) ways you can manage stress. Daily moderate exercise has been clinically proven to reduce stress levels by up to 50%.

Don’t worry - you don’t need a gym membership to reap these benefits. A simple walk outside or a YouTube-led home workout will do the trick. Finding ways to exercise at the office can be as simple as opting for the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking at the far end of the lot. Setting a reminder to get up from your desk and move around is also a great way to sneak in physical movement without sacrificing a lot of your time.

It’s also important to fuel your body appropriately for optimal stress-management. That doesn’t mean you should embark on a restrictive diet plan with rigid rules; in fact, restrictive diets increase stress on your body by depriving it of necessary calories and nutrients. A simple and easy way to support your body during stressful times is to prioritize a wide variety of foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Speaking with your doctor or a dietitian is a great idea if you have specific dietary concerns or need help managing your weight.

Practicing Self-Care

An often underrated healthy habit is the habit of practicing self-care. This can come in many forms, from a simple relaxing bath to planning a full day of enjoyable activities. Self-care can be picking up an old hobby or discovering a new one. From binging Netflix, to hiking... or somewhere in between. Whatever self-care looks like to you, it’s an integral part of helping yourself ‘restart’ and feel good.

It should be noted that self-care is not only about relaxing and having a good time. If binging Netflix means that you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you can do more harm than good. Self-care can also mean going to bed early, planning your meals out for the week, and other strategies used to make your life easier and reduce daily stress.

Prioritizing Sleep

Getting enough sleep can make all the difference in managing your stress level, but it’s often a vicious cycle; stress can keep you from sleeping well, and not sleeping well can also cause stress. So what can you do?

Setting and sticking to a good routine is the easiest way to make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night, but it may not be enough to help you ‘power down’. Limiting caffeine intake during the afternoon and evening hours and increasing your movement during the day are both great ways to help yourself feel ready for a good rest.

Make sure you’re ‘logging off’ at a decent hour to allow your mind enough time to realize it’s time for bed. The National Sleep Foundation recommends stopping the use of electronic devices (cell phones, televisions, computers, e-readers, etc..) at least thirty minutes before bedtime, as the ‘blue light’ emitted from our electronics has a direct effect on our level of alertness.

If you still find yourself tossing and turning, you may want to try a white-noise technique, such as a fan or even an inexpensive white-noise machine. Many people find these noises soothing, and they can help to cover up any background noises that may be interfering with your sleep. As a last resort, you could try a sleep aid like Melatonin, or talk to your doctor about a prescription sleep medication.

Calming Techniques

Calming techniques are great when you find yourself in a moment of heightened emotion. They are especially useful when you practice them in times that aren’t chaotic or challenging. There are several calming techniques, and you may find that one works better for you than others.

One commonly helpful technique is a deep breathing exercise that involves inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through your mouth over several seconds. Another technique is a grounding exercise that involves pausing and identifying objects and noises around you that you can touch, see, and hear.

The most common type of calming technique is meditation. If you’re new to meditation, search YouTube for “guided meditations” to help you learn to relax your body and focus your mind on positive and healing affirmations. You can find several helpful meditation guides online or at your local library.


There are many techniques we can use to help ourselves cope with stress, but one of the best things you can do is have the self-awareness to know when to reach out for help. Nothing is as powerful and helpful as talking to someone when life seems too out of control to manage. Being able to freely express your grievances in a non-judgmental environment can feel like the world has been lifted off your shoulders. Your therapist can also give you advice for coping with and navigating stressful situations, as well as calming techniques that work best for your individual needs.

If you or someone you know is finding it hard to manage stress, reach out to Medens Health for affordable counseling options in the California and Nevada area.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

If you or someone you are responsible for is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should call 9-1-1 and/or take them to the nearest emergency room.