Stress Relief

 We’re almost halfway through the semester. That means fall break is coming… but also midterms, more homework, and more studying. If you’re like me, more projects are starting to be due and you’re starting to regret procrastinating about homework. And let’s be honest, no one wants to do homework over break. However, this means some stress and cramming before you go on break. But all this stress can get us into bad eating habits that actually make the stress worse. What can we do to help the stress instead of making it worse?

First, let’s talk about what NOT to do. There are certain foods that we can avoid that will help our stress levels. Now, we all have those late nights in the library when we stay until closing time and grab a coffee and some candy to help us stay awake. We have to at least have some caffeine so we can stay up, right? The problem with this is that too much caffeine can actually increase our stress levels, which is what we don’t want. What about all those late night snacks we end up eating because we stay up so late? Most of the time, we want to eat the foods that have a lot of sugar, salt, and saturated fat in them, like chips or candy. These are also proven to increase our stress levels.

So what can we eat to help our stress? Sadly, there isn’t really a miracle food that will solve our stress problems. But we can make sure that we eat a good diet filled with nutrients that will help our stress levels. Nutrients like calcium, potassium, fiber, and the B vitamins are all shown to be very important in lowering stress. You can get these nutrients from a variety of foods like whole grains, low fat dairy products, bananas, orange juice, beans, nuts, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, bell peppers, limes, apricots, avocados and peaches. These are just some of the foods that provide good sources of the nutrients shown to lower stress. The main thing is to have a balanced and healthy diet.

Lastly, don’t forget to exercise! I know, I just got through saying you are all busy, but this is something that you need to make time for. Not only is it a healthy habit to have, it is also one of the most important factors in lowering stress. You are helping your blood pressure and your heart when you exercise and if these are healthy they help you deal with stressful situations. Meditation and deep breathing exercises have also been shown to help reduce stress.

I hope you all have a great fall break and try not to stress too much!

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