How to stay healthy in a stressful situation

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In tur­bu­lent times, there are prac­ti­cal­ly no peo­ple left who would not be in a state of stress. Pro­longed and strong expe­ri­ences affect well-being and under­mine health. We tell you how to deal with it.

Impor­tant!

The symp­toms of stress are not always easy to rec­og­nize. Often the body lets you know that it can not cope with the load, non-spe­cif­ic man­i­fes­ta­tions: cause­less fatigue, a decrease or increase in appetite, sud­den weight loss or weight gain, or even just a bad mood. If you notice such symp­toms in your­self, do not ignore them, but try to fig­ure out what is hap­pen­ing: con­sult a doc­tor and be exam­ined. If stress is to blame, find your own way to deal with them, and Healthy­in­fo will tell you what can be done.

get enough sleep

get enough sleep

Back in 2010, sci­en­tists from the UK and Italy con­duct­ed a large-scale study, dur­ing which they found out that a per­son needs to sleep about 7–8 hours a day. Those who sleep less than 6 hours are 12% more like­ly to suf­fer from car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease and pre­ma­ture death. How­ev­er, sleep­ing too much — more than 9 hours — is also impos­si­ble: in this case, the risk of devel­op­ing seri­ous dis­eases ris­es to 30%. There­fore, even if a lot of things have piled up, you should not stay up late. It is bet­ter to sleep well, get up ear­ly and con­tin­ue to work with fresh ener­gy.

Inter­est­ing­ly, not all experts agree that a per­son def­i­nite­ly needs to sleep 6–8 hours. So, Russ­ian neu­rol­o­gists believe that the dura­tion of sleep is deter­mined genet­i­cal­ly. The aver­age adult needs 7–8 hours of sleep, but some peo­ple real­ly need a lit­tle less or more time to rest. More­over, the old­er a per­son becomes, the less he sleeps. For exam­ple, a new­born sleeps up to 17 hours a day, a school­boy — about 10 hours, and the elder­ly — less than 7 hours.

Watch your diet

In a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion, some peo­ple lose their appetite, while oth­ers are drawn to eat some­thing harm­ful. Both are harm­ful to the body. There­fore, even in stress, you need to mon­i­tor nutri­tion:

    If possible, plan the menu for the day or week in advance. So there will be no temptation to eat junk food or cook too high-calorie food.
    There are 5 times a day in small portions. This will help the digestive tract work better, relieve feelings of hunger and overeating.
    Do not snack on the go, but allocate time for a full meal — at least 15–30 minutes.
    Add more fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to your diet.
    Limit the consumption of fatty, fried, salty and spicy foods.

Don’t sit still

Don't sit still

Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty is a good way to relieve stress. Dur­ing the load, the pro­duc­tion of endor­phins and dopamine increas­es, the syn­the­sis of cor­ti­sol decreas­es, and the blood sup­ply to the inter­nal organs and ner­vous sys­tem increas­es. All this improves mood, gives strength and helps to cope with unpleas­ant emo­tions. In addi­tion, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty helps keep the body in good shape, strength­ens mus­cles, lig­a­ments and joints, improves the func­tion­ing of the heart and immune sys­tem — and there­fore gives the body the abil­i­ty to resist the harm­ful effects of stress.

To feel good, it is not nec­es­sary to go to the gym or fit­ness club. Exhaust­ing the body with hard train­ing is not nec­es­sary. It is enough to go for a walk and walk for at least half an hour a day. You can run, ride a bike, do yoga — and best of all in nature. A 2015 study pub­lished in the British Jour­nal of the Sports Med­i­cine by a group of sci­en­tists from Edin­burgh found that being in a park or for­est increas­es emo­tion­al resilience and enhances the ben­e­fi­cial effects of exer­cise.

Follow the daily routine

Psy­chol­o­gists rec­om­mend even in a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion to adhere to the dai­ly rou­tine. This will help you gain a foothold and feel more con­fi­dent. Even if you’ve nev­er done it before, it’s time to start. And above all — go to bed at about the same time — it is bet­ter no lat­er than 23.00. The body recov­ers in deep sleep, which usu­al­ly occurs between mid­night and 3 am. If a per­son stays up late, he los­es this oppor­tu­ni­ty and feels tired even after a night’s sleep.

To recov­er from a busy, dif­fi­cult day, you need to allo­cate time not only for sleep, but also for oth­er types of recre­ation. For exam­ple, you can sched­ule meet­ings with friends for the week­end in advance, as well as set aside 1–2 hours in the evening to read a book or watch a movie.

Pay attention to the body

Pay attention to the body

In a stress­ful sit­u­a­tion, it is impor­tant to be able to switch to the sen­sa­tions that are hap­pen­ing here and now. The eas­i­est way to do this is through the body. For exam­ple, when feel­ing anx­ious, touch objects around, walk around the room, or even go out­side. Feel how the wind ruf­fles your hair, how springy your shoes are when walk­ing. Lis­ten to the steps of peo­ple pass­ing by, to the noise of pub­lic trans­port. Such sim­ple prac­tices help reduce anx­i­ety about the future and return to the present.

Med­i­ta­tion also helps to focus on the sen­sa­tions in the body and reduce anx­i­ety. It does not require spe­cial con­di­tions — just find a qui­et place where you will not be dis­turbed for at least 30 min­utes. Sit com­fort­ably, close your eyes, focus on your breath­ing and try not to think about any­thing. Achiev­ing inner silence is not easy, and it may not work right away. But if you man­age to stop the inter­nal “thought mix­er”, you will feel the effect imme­di­ate­ly. Reg­u­lar med­i­ta­tion improves mood, gives strength and relieves stress.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support

In a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion, it is espe­cial­ly impor­tant for a per­son to feel that he is not alone, and to get the sup­port of oth­ers. You can talk about what wor­ries you with friends and rel­a­tives, dis­cuss issues of con­cern on the­mat­ic forums, or con­tact a psy­chol­o­gist. The main thing is not to become iso­lat­ed in your anx­i­ety, not to ignore stress and use all avail­able meth­ods to deal with it.

For those who fast, the arti­cle “How to com­plete the fast and stay healthy” may be use­ful.

By Yraa

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