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Have you ever felt like life is moving too fast and you’re struggling to keep up? While stress may seem inescapable, there are steps you can take to help manage it:

1. Cut back on the coffee

Caffeine can easily become the most important ingredient in a busy lifestyle. But too much caffeine can actually increase your stress levels. Instead of drinking several cups of coffee throughout the day, limit yourself to one cup in the morning. Choose water instead – being dehydrated can actually cause you to feel tired and hungry.

2. Go to bed earlier

Adequate sleep is critical for avoiding stress and conquering your day. Fatigue has been scientifically linked to stress and physical and mental exhaustion. You should be getting an average of seven to nine hours of sleep per night for optimum wellness.  Sleep in an area that is free from distractions – like a TV and your laptop.

3. Re-evaluate your schedule

Many times, we put ourselves through more stress than we need to. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your daily tasks, take a second look at your routine. Is there anything you can cut out to lighten your load? Consider staying in one night and catching up on sleep and meditation, rather than going out. Or move your daily workout to the morning, so you have time to de-stress after work or class.  Find time in your schedule to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine or devote time at the end of the day to do stretching, yoga or meditation.  Take an active role in analyzing your schedule – and “scheduling” time for relaxation.

4. Don’t bottle it up

The worst thing you can do during stressful times is to suppress how you’re feeling. Talk to someone about what you’re experiencing or keep a daily journal as a way to express your stress. Bottling your emotions will only make it worse.

Stress is detrimental to your health. So spend some time analyzing what you can do to reduce stress in your daily routine. Invest in own wellness. Schedule some down time into your hectic day.

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