Let's face it, with the end of summer
quickly approaching, the stress of new deadlines, new schedules and new pressures are enough to make us go crazy! But just because we have to say the dreaded farewell to pool-side afternoons, abbreviated workdays and much-anticipated getaways, it doesn't mean that we have to completely let go of the relaxation and rejuvenation that come with our summer freedom.
Though we can't always control our stress levels, we can certainly manage them. So whether you are trying to prevent stress or just plain coping with it, UnityPoint Health - Des Moines shares a few creative tips to help you unwind and recharge.
It's simple. One of the best things we can do to relieve stress is to just get moving. Exercising provides important benefits to both our mental and physical well-beings. Physical activity triggers our brains to produce those feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins, or less technically, a "runners-high." The bottom line is that the more endorphins our bodies release, the fewer negative effects we experience from stress:
Yoga In The Park
The key to managing stress is finding a good balance in our daily lives... Literally! Yoga promotes deep breathing, mental focus and overall physical discipline. And luckily for you, it doesn't have to cost you the big bucks! Des Moines Park and Recreation Department offers a free Saturday morning Yoga in the Park summer series at Gray's Lake Park. For more information on dates and times, click here.
Dance It Out
Just beat it! Dancing is a great outlet for emotional expression, stress reduction, creativity and cardio. Get your groove on at one of the many dance and movement classes offered at Glaza Studio
in Des Moines. You'll be dancing your way to a stress-free week in no time.
If you're like most people, stress activates a nagging craving for "comfort" foods like macaroni and cheese, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies. But as good as these fatty foods make us feel in the moment, the problem is that they generally leave us feeling sluggish and more susceptible to stress in the long run. The solution? Replace high-calorie, fat and sugar foods with a diet rich in fiber, good carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and veggies:
The Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market
A local favorite, the Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market
is brimming with delicious and nutritious foods. From locally grown fruits and vegetables to farm fresh eggs and assorted cheeses, thousands of people gather each week to support local agriculture by buying directly from Iowa farmers. Channel your stress by attending the Saturday event from 7:00 a.m. to noon and make a healthy meal out of your purchases!
Coffee and sodas are OK to drink occasionally, but the loads of caffeine we put into our bodies oftentimes result in jitters during the day and restlessness during the night. Studies show that drinking green tea fights stress and promotes relaxation. Enjoy a calming and soothing "cuppa" at one of Des Moines' favorite spots for tea: Gung Fu Tea
in the East Village.
After a long day, the easy solution to coping with our stress is to curl up on the couch and turn on the reruns. Though there's something to say about the comfort of our own homes, getting out of the house to try new activities and develop new hobbies can be a stimulating way to subconsciously relieve stress:
Best Of Broadway
Research suggests that stress and anxiety can be reduced by listening to calm music. Playing calm music has a number of health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and reducing cortisol, a hormone linked to feelings of stress. Ditch the iPod to attend a live Broadway musical at the Des Moines Civic Center
. Season tickets are on sale now for the Willis Broadway Series 2013-2014
. Don't miss the award-winning musical, Sleeping Beauty, on September 27th and 28th!
Make Furry Friends
While human friends can be an excellent source for talking through stressful situations, don't forget that our furry friends can also serve as a support system! Pet therapy is known to increase levels of stress-reducing hormones, making us feel more relaxed and happy. Next time you're feeling the stress of work and home pile on, volunteer at the local Animal Rescue League
to play with the "pawfully" cute animals.
Feeling the pressure of the coming season? Tell us about your creative stress-management solutions!