De-Stress Your Summer
The year 2020 has been called "unprecedented" for good reasons. Each of us has felt the stress of it in our own way. Here are a few quick tips for reducing your stress levels this summer.
Get Outside. The pandemic drove many of us indoors for long stretches of time. Summer provides great opportunities to reconnect with nature. Research shows that “forest bathing” (basically, a term used for spending time outdoors) can greatly reduce stress. Eat lunch outside on a bench; plan a weekend hike on a local trail; take your cardio workout to the sidewalk or a park.
Chill Out. Take one mindful minute to just do nothing but chill. Next time you are at a traffic light, preparing for a meeting, or about to start chores, pause for a literal minute. Set aside your phone or other distractions. Breathe in for three counts; pause for one count; then breathe out for four counts. Repeat four times. Deep breathing alters the oxygen and CO2 levels in your brain, and drops your stress hormones.
Talk to Your Doctor. Going out of town on vacation is a great way to relax... unless you forget your birth control. Then you're worrying about protection and fretting about unplanned pregnancy. If you will be traveling frequently this summer, speak with us about whether long-term reversible contraceptive options (a LARC: IUD, implants or a shot) is the right choice for your body and lifestyle.