We all deal with stress at various times in our lives, from looming deadlines at work to worrying about being able to pay our bills on time. Stress is a natural reaction to challenges in life, but it can also have significant impacts on our overall health if it becomes long-lasting and we aren’t able to deal with it. Here are seven tips to help you alleviate the stress in your life.

Get enough rest
A good night’s sleep is essential for taking care of both your physical and mental health. Most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Practising good sleep habits, like going to bed at a consistent time each night and keeping the room cool and dark can help you get a more restful sleep. If you’re a light sleeper, consider using a white noise machine or fan to block out external sounds.

Eat well
Eating a variety of healthy foods supports your overall nutritional health and physical and mental well-being. A healthy eating pattern includes plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grain and protein foods, and healthy fats instead of saturated fats. Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat, it is also the where, when, why and how you eat. This can include taking time to eat without distractions, enjoying your food by creating a positive eating environment and using mealtime as a chance to connect with others.

Get your exercise
Regular physical activity has been shown to improve our ability to learn and problem solve, while also reducing the risk of developing dementia or other cognitive issues. If you’re not into jogging or hitting the gym, low-impact exercises like yoga or going for a walk are great ways to clear your mind and reduce your stress while getting your body moving.

Unplug your devices
The constant exposure to social media and the news can be overwhelming and have an impact on our mental health. If you find that it is negatively affecting you or adding additional stress to your life, consider reducing the amount of time you spend “doom scrolling” or taking a break from it altogether. Shutting down your screens at least an hour before bedtime can also help with better sleep.

Spend time with loved ones
If you can, prioritize some time to meaningfully connect with friends or family, whether in a group or one-on-one. If you are feeling stressed out, it can help to talk things through with someone you trust.

Set a schedule
Stress can make it challenging to keep track of the things we want to get done from day to day. Setting a regular schedule for things like mealtime, chores and exercise will help you remember important tasks and feel more in control of your life.

Seek help when needed
Sometimes we aren’t able to sort things out on our own and need more support. If feelings of stress or worry are long-lasting and are having a negative impact on your daily life, know there is help. There are a number of free mental health supports that you can access at anytime, from anywhere.

Find more information about available mental health resources at canada.ca/mental-health.