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Practice tip of the week: Reducing stress


Your weekly dose of wisdom from the Physicians Practice experts.

lightbulb doodle © Matias - stock.adobe.com

lightbulb doodle © Matias - stock.adobe.com

With all the useful information available on Physicians Practice, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

With this in mind, the tip of the week is a chance to reflect on some of the wisdom found all across the site. In a March 2023 story on reducing stress during stressful times, Colin Zhu, DO, writes:

1. Maintain a healthy diet

Eat more healthily, even when you’re at home. People are used to getting muffins or ice cream easily right out from the fridge. How about doing the same thing but pulling out fruit or yogurt instead?

A healthy diet doesn’t mean totally changing your meal plan or counting calories. Simply putting more greens into your meals every day can make a big difference.

People who follow a "traditional" diet, like Mediterranean or Japanese, have a 25% to 35% lower risk of depression, according to a Harvard health blog. By a traditional diet, this means an eating pattern high in fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grains.

Aside from transitioning into a healthy diet, cook at home more often. At the start of the pandemic, people had to go out for groceries and cook more meals at home. It's no surprise that the number of people cooking at home skyrocketed due to the restrictions. Still, with the pandemic slowly coming to an end, 92% of families plan to continue cooking and eating together.

Cooking at home gives you the power to control what you eat. With this opportunity, you can choose a tasty, nutritious meal that isn't difficult to prepare. For instance, a whole-food plant-based recipe has easy-to-find ingredients with the simplest procedures.

Also, cooking at home allows you to be creative with every meal. You can even make your meal preparations more fun by doing them with family members or friends.

2. Practice more self-care

More and more people neglected taking care of themselves when the pandemic started. In some cases, people didn’t mind not taking a bath since they were just staying at home.

Even when you are restricted to staying at home, you shouldn’t forget your self-care routine. You can start by scheduling a solitude hour and shut off all distractions like your phone and see what you naturally come up with. I find the best ideas come when I am able to be quiet with myself. Other self-care activities may include meditation, aromatherapy, journaling, revisiting an old hobby, along with many more.

3. Exercise regularly

It’s no secret that exercise can do wonders for your mind and body. Endorphins are your brain’s ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters and they get released from your body through physical activity. The more you exercise, the more you can get that stress out of your system and feel that relief.

When the pandemic started, about 23.7% of people reported a decrease in their exercise routine. The pandemic has set restrictions that may have prevented us from going out, but it shouldn’t stop you from exercising.

There are plenty of workouts you can do at home. You also don’t have to choose the most rigorous training. Any exercise that keeps your body moving is a good place to start. You just need to do it consistently.

Click here to read the rest of the article and be sure to check back next week for another Tip of the Week!

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