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Alternative ways to stay fit and healthy in crisis situations

In today’s world, with constant deadlines, hectic schedules and challenges, it can be quite hard to stay on top of your physical and mental health. Most people are struggling to survive in the crumbling economy without having any prospect of long-term employment or even paid leave. Forests around the world are burning, other parts are flooded and it seems we’re hurling towards a climate disaster. Therefore, it’s no wonder there’s a global health crisis where more and more young people are asking for help to deal with anxieties and schoolchildren are being thought meditation and mindfulness just to cope with the stress of social media.

It’s a known fact that stress kills and being under prolonged stress might lead to heart disease, diabetes and depression. However, things can be managed with a few lifestyle changes.

Improve your diet

The building block of your health is proper nutrition and a balanced diet which can be challenging to maintain, especially in times of stress when most people reach for salty-sweet snacks packed with calories. But this is always a bad choice that will only leave you feeling rotten long-term.

Sugar-rich drinks and snacks may give you an instant serotonin spike and boost your energy as well as mood, but it won’t last. It’s just a temporary high that you should replace with consuming complex carbs that provide a slower and more stable energy source. Also, by taking extra ten minutes to eat your lunch away from your workstation, chewing slowly and being more mindful about your meal can help in reducing your stress levels and prevent you from later snacking. 

Don’t skip your workout

When it comes to fitness, many people go for all or nothing, meaning it’s either a passion or a tiresome chore. And most of the time, they hit the gym in the pre-holiday season but once real life gets in the way, the gym is no more.

However, one of the best natural ways to relieve stress is to exercise as it fills your body with feel-good hormones and helps you get your mind off your daily problems. If you ever lose your motivation, just think of how great you feel after the workout. Even if you can’t squeeze in a trip to the gym, there are excellent free home-based exercises you can do in a matter of several minutes between your household chores or telephone conversations. However, one thing you shouldn’t do is feel guilty about taking time to work out – giving yourself time to train is the best thing you can do for your health. 

Try something new

When your life is packed with responsibilities, things can become mundane and you can easily fall into a rut so it’s important to try new things and keep it fresh and fun, especially if you’re in a stable relationship. With a good diet and plenty of exercise, you’ll be in good shape to possibly consider spicing things up in the bedroom as well. A little experimentation with exciting adult toys can resuscitate your sex life and bring back the spark you might have lost along the way. This could improve your sexual health, your intimacy with your partner and your overall well-being.

Prioritize your health and not your job

We live in a world that glorifies overwork whether it’s just your side job you have on top of your full-time work or the toxic tendency to stay longer at the office. The real problem here is not working harder, it’s working longer hours. There’s a strong connection between working longer and being unproductive and unhealthy. 

One of the main causes of stress is excessive workloads, whether you take it on to impress your boss or appear more proactive in comparison to your colleagues. However you do it, it’s practically pointless and will lead to burnout. To avoid it, remember to take breaks and do nothing. Resist the temptation of being permanently busy and focus a bit more on other aspects of life that actually matter more, such as your own health and family. If you reduce yourself to the sum of what you do, in the long term, it won’t work – you’ll end up resenting both your job and yourself.

Seek professional help

It’s unnatural to be in a state of constant stress and pressure and when you feel things are getting out of hand, you should seek professional help. Every aspect of your body will be affected by stress and our bodies aren’t designed to endure that much. Ask for help and find out what coping mechanisms you could learn to reduce the impact of stress. It’s very easy to resort to bad mechanisms for stress relief, such as too much coffee, alcohol or even drugs and promiscuity. 

Look for ways to adopt sustainable lifestyle changes that will work in the long run, such as reading, doing a hobby, exercising and socializing with people you love.

Get enough sleep

Under stress and pressure, it’s our sleep patterns that often suffer. Poor sleep always leads to higher stress levels so getting more quality sleep will manage your stress. However, turning to sleeping pills can be a double-edged sword as it’s only a short-term solution. They can be helpful under acute stress but only for about two weeks. What should be done instead is dealing with the underlying sources of stress and one solution is the cognitive behavioural therapy that will address the roots of your anxiety and improve your sleep.

By having a strategy and coping mechanisms ready, once a crisis situation comes, you’ll be more adept to deal with it and you’ll respond more effectively. Knowing there’s so much at stake, you’ll be more motivated to protect yourself against stress and improve your overall well-being.