3. Manage Your Stress
More and more people report finding a regular day quite a bit or even extremely stressful. Stress is the main reason for the increase in cortisol levels. When it becomes ongoing or excessive, this can have a negative impact on your well-being. Everybody has several forms of stress in their lives, but it is how you deal with it that counts. There are some healthy ways to cope with stress:
- Getting 7–9 hours of sleep per night.
- Keeping active and eating a nourishing diet.
- Taking free time to relax and completely checkout with fewer responsibilities.
- Switch gears after work.
- Communicating your feelings and needs to family and friends.
- Unplugging yourself from electronics. Put away your cell phone, tablet, and laptop.
4. Make Sleep a Priority
30% of men and 40% of women have trouble with insomnia. If you don’t get the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep per night, it can have a significant impact on your health as well as your work performance and social life.
If you have restless sleep, have trouble falling asleep, or are losing sleep due to stress, waking children, or shift work, it’s time to make sleep a priority with these tips:
- Make time to sleep. Set the bedtime alarm on your phone.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine – all of which can disrupt your sleep.
- Unplug from your cell phone, tablet, computer, or e-reader before bedtime. Unwind before bedtime with a bath or some light reading.
5. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Although moderate alcohol consumption is considered safe for some people, there are a lot of alcohol-related health risks that aren’t apparent till later in life.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that you drink up to:
- 2 drinks per day for men
- 1 drink per day for women
Alcohol is high in calories and dehydrating, so cutting back has benefits. Keep your alcohol intake down by:
- Drinking slowly
- Setting a drink limit for yourself
- Eating before and while you are consuming alcohol
- Matching every alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink
- Not drinking for health benefits
- Enjoying as many non-drinking days as possible every week to prevent alcohol from becoming a habit.