“A glass of wine will help me relax.” All too often people say this as a way to cope with the stress of everyday life. Phrases like, “It takes the edge off,” and “Just one beer” shouldn’t become your mantra when trying to unwind after a tough day at the office or a long night with the kids. Anxiety and alcohol use are often connected. Many times, people drink to relax and reduce anxiety, and in some instances, chronic alcohol abuse can lead to anxiety.
So what can you do without reaching for the bottle of wine? There are several ways you can de-stress without the harmful side effects of too much alcohol:
- Get active! Exercise helps your head while helping your heart. Studies show that small amounts of physical activity can have really positive effects on stress in your life.
- Seek companionship – the furry kind. Playing with your dog or cat contributes to a decrease in the production of cortisol, which keeps your stress levels in check. Don’t have a pet? Visit with a neighbor or volunteer at an animal shelter.
- Read or watch something. Sometimes you just need to step out of reality with a TV show or good book. This distraction can help you recharge and feel ready to take on whatever chaos is waiting for you.
- Go for a walk. Just like exercise, even just a leisurely walk can help reduce stress. Taking your mind off your stress and noticing your surroundings, like the flowers, the sounds of the birds, the sky, etc., can help bring you back to a state of calm.
- Breathe. Meditation is extremely popular now. And while some find it difficult to sit in silence with just your thoughts, others find that concentrating on your breathing is a great way to tackle stress. Just a few minutes a day of quite time can make you feel relaxed and revitalized.
Join the conversation. Share the ways you relieve stress.
This blog post is part of our Simply Women initiative that caters to the unique health care needs of women and their families.