Even before the pandemic, young people already reported being stressed out most of the time. For millennials, their long-term financial future is what contributes the most to their stress. As for Gen Zs, it is their career or job prospects. Add the fact that the pandemic has affected young people’s jobs and finances only added to their feelings of helplessness. While there are things that are out of our control, there are still things that we have control over that we can focus on.
Aside from improving financial habits and career prospects, young people must learn how to manage stress. Thankfully, they are more open about mental health and are fond of both regular and alternative ways of managing stress. If you too are feeling more stressed out these days, there are some unusual habits you can try to distress.
Get a Blood Test
As it turns out, doctors can check how stressed out a person can be. A cortisol level test checks the level of your cortisol, which is also known as the stress hormone produced by your adrenal gland. This is involved in the fight or flight response and stress, which is why it is often called the stress hormone.
With a cortisol level test, doctors can check several systems in your body, including your nervous systems, immune system, and stress responses. Even if you are currently on a vacation, let’s say in Indonesia, you can go to a local hospital such as the Kasih Ibu Hospital and get a blood test to have your cortisol levels checked. The higher your cortisol levels are, the more stressed you can be.
Having high cortisol levels can have negative effects, including the following.
- Digestive issues
- Increased blood sugar levels
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
If you are experience symptoms of high chronic stress, then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. He can recommend tests such as the necessary blood work and other tests to check the best way to help you manage your stress.
Refresh Yourself Daily With a Glass of OJ
Not everyone likes orange juice, but experts say this can be a good way to bust your stress the easy way. Consider adding this beverage to your morning routine and give yourself a boost of Vitamin C. According to some researchers, a boost of Vitamin C can significantly reduce your cortisol levels, aka the stress levels.
The lower your cortisol levels are especially in the morning, the better you will feel and the less physical emotional signs of stress you will experience. But before you reach out for Vitamin C supplements, note that pills can never match the protective factors of a fresh glass of orange juice. If you get tired of OJ, you can always reach out for other Vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries, grapefruit, broccoli, and tomato juice to spice up your day.
Fake Your Sunshine
We are told that basking in enough sunshine each day is a great mood booster and stress reliever. This is since it is the best source of Vitamin D. When we get our daily dose of Vitamin D, it helps reduce feelings of fatigue, anxiety, stress, and even depression.
You have the option to walk and enjoy the sunlight for at least 30 minutes each day. But what about during cloudy days or in winter when there is little-to-no sunlight? What you can do instead is to try bright light therapy.
Exposing yourself to the right light that mimics daylight can help ease anxiety, stress, and depression. This helps create positive changes in the brain and allows us to better manage emotions. Since sunshine is sometimes hard to get, one can consider eating foods rich in Vitamin D instead.
If you are into bright light therapy, you can invest in a sun lamp or a lightbox. Such technology imitates sunlight. For people with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, just 30 minutes of sitting by a sun lam can be enough to improve sleep patterns and boost one’s mood, and energy levels.
Confess a Secret or Two
Everyone has their own secrets. Some are even willing to take their secrets to the grave. But according to science, keeping secrets boosts stress levels.
When you have a secret, you have that goal to safeguard it. This stresses you out since the fear of getting caught can plague your mind. Remember that goals you haven’t achieved yet are easier to think about, thus depressing your mood.
This is especially true if you are to hide a secret from a loved one. If you want to ease your stress, then try to tell a secret to someone you can trust. Better yet, refuse to keep a secret with someone to give yourself better peace of mind and avoid your stress hormones from elevating.
We all have different reasons why we are anxious and stressed out. Even if you don’t want to confess about being stressed, it will show in your actions, your feelings, and how you think. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in stress. Instead, explore options that allow you to destress and face your stressors head-on.