Hello Loyal Soup People! As you can imagine, Soupergirl is a little stressed right now. There’s quite a lot going on! So, I thought I’d dedicate this week’s column to stress. Specifically, how to handle it and keep it under control.

Stress does us no good. This feeling usually causes us to be unfocused, unproductive, and disorganized… all of which leads us to feeling more stressed! Quite a vicious cycle. That’s why it is so important to keep stress under control. Here are a few tips that may help:

– Exercise. When we are stressed, our bodies produce extra “fight or flight” hormones such as cortisol and/or adrenaline. Exercise can help bring these hormones back into check, while also triggering an endorphin release which will help calm us down. Exercise also helps us sleep better which brings me to my next tip.

– Sleep. Insufficient sleep leads only to more stress, which then causes us to have trouble sleeping. Another vicious cycle. If nothing else, be sure to get enough sleep at night. Trying to ward off stress while exhausted is nearly impossible. Turn off your computer, read a book, and most definitely, do not bring your phone into the bedroom.

– Breathe. When you are feeling completely overwhelmed, step back from your computer, lay down on the ground and put your feet up the wall. Breathe deeply. I promise you, this works. If you cannot get your feet up a wall, then simply close your eyes at your desk. Take eight to ten deep breaths. It can help reset your body and calm you down.

– Write. Often stress hits us because we feel out of control. Writing down everything that’s on your mind can help get you organized. Create a list. Start a plan. Once everything is in writing, it might not seem so overwhelming.

Stress does NOT do a body good. Long term stress can do some real damage. Learn how to keep it under control, and you’ll be a much happier and productive person. Are you reading this, Soupergirl??

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!