How to stay healthy during stressful periods

Posted on: 28 July 2016

Many people struggle to look after their health during stressful periods of their life. When moving house, studying for exams or trying to meet a deadline at work, things like weight management become less of a priority. It's all too easy to forego nutritious meals in favour of fast food that doesn't need to be prepared and will provide you with that instant sugar fix. Exercise, too, tends to seem less important during these times. When you're feeling worn out by events  in your life, it can be difficult to find the energy to hit the gym after work or go for a morning jog. The following tips will help you to stay healthy even when things gets tough.  

Make self-care a priority

If you're feeling overwhelmed by chores, deadlines and other pressures, self-care activities are probably fairly low on your list of priorities. However it's important to realise just how important self-care is when you're going through a challenging period; only by looking after your own wellbeing will you have the energy you need to handle your daily responsibilities, whilst still remaining physically and mentally healthy. Implementing just one or two self-care practices could dramatically reduce your stress levels (even if the external stressors in your life remain the same), which in turn will lessen your desire for nutritionally-void comfort foods and boost your energy (thus making it easier to stick to an exercise routine).

Self-care doesn't have to be complicated; it could be something as simple as taking a long, hot bath with some Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils in the evening. Epsom salts are said to be excellent for alleviating physical tension, whilst essential oils (in particular, lavender) are calming and can make it easier to get a good night's sleep.

Meditation is another excellent self-care practice that can help you stay healthy during difficult periods. When done regularly, it can reduce your stress levels, lower your blood pressure and teach you how to feel less overwhelmed by the demands of daily life. Whilst there are many different techniques, it usually involves focusing on your breath or an object of your choosing for several minutes, whilst simply observing your thoughts in a non-judgemental way.

Invest in your wellbeing

If your budget will allow for it, there are a number of things you can invest in to maintain your health during challenging times. Attending a yoga class once a week, for example, is a fantastic way to relieve stress and enjoy some gentle exercise. If your schedule is too full for  this, consider purchasing a yoga  DVD that you can use in the comfort of your own home whenever you have a few minutes to spare. Going for regular massages can also be enormously helpful during stressful periods; they can help to lower your blood pressure, boost lymph flow and ease stress-induced muscle tension.