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Stress survival kit: 7 everyday things that can help

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This past year has been one of the most stressful periods in living memory. We have all been dealing with various different stressors from the looming pandemic to working from home and social distancing to concerns about the future.

During these unprecedented times, it’s more important than ever to look after both our mental and physical health. It’s all about finding the right balance in order to lead a happy and healthy life in 2021 and beyond.

So, to help you to navigate these stressful times we’ve teamed up with Fitbit Sense to highlight seven everyday things that you can do to feel better.

1. Walk the walk

Even in lockdown, we can all enjoy a brisk walk in our local neighbourhood. The benefits of getting outdoors and stretching your legs are widely researched.

Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever that can work in minutes. Taking a walk allows you to enjoy a change of scenery, which can get you into a different frame of mind and brings the benefits of exercise as well.

So, whether you just need to take a stroll around your apartment complex to get a break from a frustrating task or you decide to go for a long walk in the park after work, walking is a simple but effective way to rejuvenate your mind and body.

2. Use tech to your advantage

When it comes to stress, a lot of people blame technology and modern advancements. The truth is, technology can be a huge benefit to our health.

Take the Fitbit Sense for example. Launched in 2020, this advanced smartwatch helps you to tune into your body with tools for stress management, heart health and more.

Sense has the world’s first wrist EDA sensor which detects tiny electrical changes on your skin which may indicate your body’s response to stress. By becoming more aware of how you are experiencing stress each day and in the moment, you can start to manage it more effectively. It takes just two minutes and can help you to understand how your body is responding and to track your improvements from session to session.

3. Write it out

Stress can kick in when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be done or deadlines that must be met. Writing a to-do list or time management strategy can help you to focus on seeing each task through to completion.

Sit down and write out everything you need to get done and each step you’ll need to take to complete each task. Be realistic about how much time it will take you to complete each task and build space into your schedule to reward yourself for getting the job done. Have a personal and a work to-do list and always keep them separate. This will help you to manage your work-life balance.

4. Catch more zzzs

Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Following a regular sleep routine calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making.

While everyone’s sleep needs are different, a good rule of thumb to aim for is between 7-9 hours per night. A great way to get better sleep is set a regular bedtime and to switch off from technology an hour before bed. This gives your body (and your eyes) the chance to wind down after a long day.

5. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness might sound like an airy fairy idea, but at its root, it’s all about being in the present moment. This allows us to stop ruminating on the past or worrying about the future.

You can practice mindfulness in many different ways, from meditating to simply listening to music. It’s all about finding what works for you. If you’re not sure where to start, use a tool or programme.

The Fitbit Sense comes with new mindfulness tools, including the Mindful Method tools from Deepak Chopra. By doing regular EDA sessions on your Sense and tracking your responses over time, you can build a mindfulness practice and improve your mental well-being. Clinical studies have shown that a mindfulness based practice such as meditation is most effective at reducing stress.*

6. Get creative

Doing something creative that you enjoy like cooking, baking, art or photography can take you away from stressful situations and allow your mind to think about something else (even for a little while).

Lockdown is the perfect time to try out a new hobby or past time that you’ve always been interested in. You can try your hand at pottery, start painting, take up embroidery or start making kombucha.

There are plenty of great kits and materials that you can order online. Plus, it’s a great way to pass those long lockdown evenings. You might even find something that you love doing.

7. Take a breather

When you’re dealing with co-workers, friends, a partner, pets and kids all day, every day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Try to set aside 15 to 20 minutes of me-time every day. Use this time to do whatever you want. You can simply sit on the sofa and breathe deeply, relax in a hot bubble bath, meditate, listen to your favourite song on repeat or call a friend - anything that helps you to relax and feel more like you.

Fitbit Sense — the advanced smartwatch focused on health that helps you tune in to your body, understand manage your stress levels, and guides you toward a better well-being. Learn more here.

*Clinical Psychology Review, April 2016.


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