5 Ways to Reduce Stress

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Feeling overwhelmed? We've been there.

Starting a new semester after a holiday break can sometimes feel overwhelming. 

Semester breaks are usually the time when we take a break from everything, quite literally. A break from our normal sleep schedule. A break from productivity. And although we hate to admit it, a break from eating healthily.  

So, there’s no question why the start of a new semester can bring upon stress. 

But hey, we know what that’s like and can share a few tips that can help you! 

1. Reflect

Sometimes all we need is to accept that we’re stressed, step away from our laptops, phones or books, and leave the room. 

Recognizing that we're stressed and admitting that it’s not helping us, is a step closer to overcoming it. Trying to be productive in the wrong headspace can cause more problems over helping you. 

2. Meditate

We’re human. Sometimes our minds go from what am I going to have for lunch to stressing out about an embarrassing moment back in grade four. Meditating helps us to be present and focus on positivity. 

Last year, we partnered with Aaron Tam in our Wednesday Wellness series for guided meditation. Check out one of our free meditation videos here

Headspace and Calm are two of the many apps that help guide you through meditation. Meditation can also be done by sitting or lying down on a comfortable surface, in silence, while taking slow, deep breaths. 

This can help you slow down mentally and physically and clear your mind from any stress or anxiety you’re feeling. 

3. Face-time a Friend

It's true what they say, smiling can make you feel happier! 

Laughing with a friend can change your mood and make you forget what was causing you stress.  

A study from Tara L. Kraft and Sarah D. Pressman, “Grin and Bear It: The Influence of Manipulated Facial Expression on the Stress Response” uncovered that smiling influences blood flow to the brain, and in doing so, relieves stress. 

So grab your phone and call your friend or family member! 

4. Listen to Music

Hearing a waterfall or birds chirping gives off a peaceful ambience. The same can be said with calm music.  

Scroll through relaxation playlists on YouTube or Spotify and let yourself get lost in the melodies.  

5. Go for a Walk

Nature can make you feel at peace and lower both your blood pressure and stress hormone levels. 

Lace up your sneakers or winter boots and visit one of the many parks in Calgary! Here are our personal favourites: 

  • Confederation Park 
  • Edworthy Park 
  • Prairie Winds Park 
  • Shouldice Park 

Want more ideas? Check out this blog post: https://www.visitcalgary.com/things-to-do/stories-from-calgary/10-best-parks-in-calgary