How to Manage Stress and Eat Healthy

Did you know that 70% of primary care provider visits are related to stress and lifestyle? Stress is a part of everyday life, but it doesn’t have to control us. When people are stressed and overwhelmed, they are less likely to engage in healthy habits, even though healthy habits can improve mood. There are things we can do to manage stress and stay healthy, both physically and mentally. With a little effort, we can all learn to better cope with stress.

One of the best ways to manage stress is to stay active. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Taking a brisk walk, going for a swim, or even playing with a pet can help to alleviate stress.

Another great way to manage stress is to connect with loved ones. Spending time with people who make us feel good can help to reduce stress levels. Whether it’s catching up with a friend over coffee, or spending time with family, quality time with those we care about is sure to chase away the stressors of the day.

Finally, it’s important to take care of ourselves mentally as well as physically. Make time for activities that make you happy, whether it’s reading, listening to music, or taking a yoga class. When we take care of ourselves, we’re better able to handle whatever life throws our way.

In addition to managing stress, it’s also important to eat healthy. A healthy dietary pattern is significantly associated with reduced odds of depression and suicide. Comfort foods can be tempting when we’re feeling stressed, but they don’t do our bodies any favors. In fact, adults who frequently eat fast foods are 40% more likely to develop depression then those who avoid fast food. Choose healthy options like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to help your body cope with stress in a healthy way.

3 ideas for each category:

Fruits: Apples, Bananas, Strawberries

Vegetables: Broccoli, Spinach, Carrots

Whole Grains: Brown Rice, Oats, Quinoa

Lean Proteins: Chicken, Salmon, Greek Yogurt

Stress doesn’t have to rule our lives. With a little effort, we can all learn to better manage stress and stay healthy.

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