5 Healthy Ways To Handle Stress
For Stress Awareness Month this April, we wanted to devote some time to this topic. Since gym and health club owners like you are in the health and wellness business, it’s important to use and promote healthy methods of reducing and managing stress.
It’s all too easy for stress to counteract people’s health goals, as it encourages them to eat unhealthily, skip exercise and potentially turn to unhealthy coping methods like addictive substances. Instead, encourage your members, staff and yourself to try these healthy ways to handle stress.
1. Talk to Someone
It helps to talk to other people. Being social in general and having sources of social support can help with stress, as does discussing your problems, thoughts and feelings that are bothering you. Another person may simply offer an ear and support, or they may provide an outside perspective on your situation. If you’re really struggling or you need more than a friendly talk, consider meeting with a mental health professional.
2. Shift Your Life
Changing your perspective and stressors in your life can reduce your stress before it becomes a problem, rather than trying to manage it after the fact. You can work on the way you view and live your life. Here are some ideas:
- Aim to view a situation with a compassionate perspective toward someone rather than automatically becoming irritated, angry or stressed.
- Try to rush less and accept when something takes longer than expected, instead of quickly becoming impatient or angry.
- Notice areas of your life that trigger stress the most and see how you may be able to change them, whether through leaving a situation, creating better boundaries, asking for help or some other means.
3. Calming Activities
Find activities that you find relaxing and restorative, which may vary from person to person. Some ideas include:
- Deep breathing
- Soothing music
- Time in nature
- A warm bath
The idea is to find activities that help your mind and body calm down and reduce tension.
4. Have Good Routines
It’s helpful to follow an attainable schedule that includes breaking larger items down into manageable chunks, as well as incorporating free time and self-care time. Also, try these steps:
- Pay attention to when work or other responsibilities are taking over your life, and aim to achieve more balance.
- Factor in time for healthy activities and getting enough sleep.
- Make sure you give yourself breaks in the moment when you’re feeling stressed, allowing yourself to restore and reset yourself.
5. Physical Activity
Last, but certainly not least, is exercise. Physical activity provides a wonderful way to beat stress that has been supported by study after study, not to mention anecdotal evidence of feeling mentally and physically better after working out.
Ways exercise helps with stress include:
- Stimulating feel-good and pain-reducing brain chemicals
- Reducing stress hormones
- Boosting self-confidence
- Increasing energy naturally
How Your Gym Can Help
Your gym can give members ways to reduce stress. You’re offering a sanctuary and self-care time away from other parts of a person’s life, the potential for social support, stress-busting exercise and potentially relaxing classes such as yoga. You also have connections with your members, such as an app, social media platforms and an email list, where you can offer tips to help them unwind and reduce stress.
As an owner or manager, you’re in a position to help your staff by providing them with exercise classes and allowing them to find balance within their workload. And, don’t forget about yourself and the rest of your management team, as it’s important for everyone to find healthy ways to cut stress!