The times of the COVID-19 pandemic are full of uncertainty. We don’t know when the pandemic will end, and we’ll be able to meet with our friends and family regularly once again. Many people also fear that they might lose their jobs, and financial worries only add to the stress.
Now, you might be looking for new ways to relax amidst all the chaos and despair. Many of the activities that were useful in this regard in the past might not be possible right now, but it doesn’t mean that there are no great ways to reduce your cortisol levels. Below, you will find ways to improve your wellness routine and stop worrying.
Get Into Sunlight
A lot of people choose to stop working outdoors during the cold and gloomy winter season. This is common, as the cold weather and the gray days can get you in a depressed state of mind. However, you might want to do just the opposite.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a lack of sunlight can lead to changes in circadian rhythm, impacting the levels of cortisol in the body. The study also shows that increased exposure to sunlight can be beneficial for cortisol balance.
Change Your Meals
In a stressful situation, you might think that eating unhealthy foods is better than eating nothing at all. However, this is not the case. Foods with a high sugar content can lead to high cortisol levels, and so can foods with a high content of trans fats.
That’s why you should ditch the junk and eat foods rich in proteins, fibre, and complex carbohydrates. Additionally, spices like cumin, turmeric, and black pepper are known for their health benefits and have been linked to lower cortisol levels.
Eat On Time
One of the biggest causes of stress for many people is eating too little or overeating – both of which have adverse effects on your health and wellbeing as well as your stress levels in general.
One study has shown that eating too little can decrease your energy levels (not to mention your ability to fight off diseases), while eating too much will increase your cravings for sugary foods and processed junk food (which will eventually cause weight gain).
Take a Nap
Napping is already a great way to improve your sleep quality and relax after a long day at work. However, there’s more to it than that. A recent study has found that taking naps regularly can impact the cortisol levels in your body.
The study suggests that naps are not only relaxing, but they also reduce stress and boost energy. Additionally, they can help you fight depression and feel a great deal better about yourself.
Go To Sleep Earlier
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for our health and overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially when you are busy or stressed out. That’s why we look for ways to improve our sleep quality by treating our insomnia with melatonin supplements, using sleeping masks, and so on.
However, there is a much simpler way to get more sleep – go to sleep earlier. A study conducted by the University of Texas has shown that getting enough sleep can help you stay calm and clear-headed during stressful situations. Additionally, it can also boost your willpower.
Use Essential Oils
You might remember that we mentioned essential oils earlier when we talked about spices with health benefits. Essential oils are known for their relaxing effects on the body and are popular among people with a stressful lifestyle or constantly anxious.
Many of the essential oils are also great for reducing stress levels in the body and helping you relax after a long day at work. You might be tempted to reach for your favourite essential oil when you feel stressed out, but make sure to use it properly since it can cause different reactions in different people depending on their body chemistry.
If you are struggling with stress, you might want to consider supplementing with CBD. Research is showing that the therapeutic properties in CBD are particularly useful in combatting stress and anxiety. CBD also has a beneficial effect on many other health issues without the side effects associated with traditional marijuana smoking.
It is available in various forms, from CBD oils and tinctures to easy-to- ingest CBD softgels and gummies. While CBD is safe and doesn’t give you the high that cannabis does, it is best to start with small doses when first starting out.
Try Meditation And Yoga
It’s difficult to find a more relaxing activity these days than meditation and yoga. However, there are different ways to do it, and you should find one that works for you.
It has been shown that yoga can help you lower cortisol levels in the body when done regularly. The same goes for meditation, although it has a slightly different effect than yoga. Additionally, meditation is known for its positive effect on the mind and can improve your mood and overall health
Sleep In A Dark Room
When we mentioned earlier that a lack of sunlight could lead to changes in circadian rhythm, we didn’t stop at sunlight – we also mentioned changes in circadian rhythm could be caused by changes in an individual’s room temperature and/or the colour of their walls and ceiling.
Although it might sound like science fiction, it’s estimated that a lack of certain colours could decrease cortisol levels in the body as well as overall levels of serotonin – a hormone associated with feelings of happiness, satisfaction, and relaxation.
That’s why if you are stressed out, try to get rid of all bright colours from your bedroom (especially red) and enjoy sleeping in a dark room – it will help relax your mind and body as much as possible before bedtime.
Making a few changes in the way you sleep and eat can make a big difference to your well-being and reduce your stress levels. Even if it might be a little cold outdoors, wrap up warm and get a little sunlight.
Consider taking up meditation or yoga to lower your cortisol levels. Introduce health products such as CBD oil or essentials oils into your wellness routine to see if they help. Introduce a few of these different hacks into your life, and you’ll soon start noticing the changes.
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