You’re busy. I’m busy. Everybody’s busy…all the time.

We live in a fast-paced, better-keep-up, stressed-out world. Stress is an almost unavoidable part of our lives. Some stress is definitely good—the kind that pushes you to reach a deadline or helps you reach peak performance during a competition.

how to manage stress

However, whether it's due to work pressures, personal challenges, or global events, the effects of stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health. It can manifest in many different ways, like anxiety or depression, inflammation, or joint pain. Chronic or long-term stress can not only affect your mental state, but it can also contribute to a variety of illnesses, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and weakened immune function, all impacting overall well-being.

The good news? Effective stress management techniques can help mitigate these effects, allowing you to feel calmer, happier, and live a healthier, more balanced life. 


Top Tips for How to Manage Your Stress

Let’s explore a few meaningful strategies to help reduce your stress load and increase your quality of life, from understanding and recognizing your stress to specific actions to help ease your burdens. 

1. Assess to Destress

Understanding the sources of stress in your life is the first step to managing it effectively. List what stressors are affecting you in the following categories:

  • Physical (injury, illness, poor sleep, etc.)
  • Mental (overwork, decision fatigue, chasing perfection, etc.)
  • Emotional Stress (grief, anger, guilt, fear, etc.)
  • Social (relationships, loneliness, lack of community, etc.)
  • Environmental (pollution, noise, violence, etc.)
  • Existential (feeling hopeless, despair, lack of fulfillment or meaning, etc.)

Determine which areas contribute to your highest stressors, then identify which factors are within your control and which aren’t. For example, you can’t control other people's actions but you can control how you set boundaries on your time and space.  

Focus your energy on addressing the stressors directly within your control, including your mindset and emotional responses to things outside your control.

2. Move, Move, Move

Daily movement and exercise are beneficial for physical health and play a crucial role in managing stress. Regular exercise releases endorphins and stimulates serotonin production, boosting your mood and reducing stress levels by promoting more stable emotions. 

Serotonin is known as the “feel good” chemical and supports reduced anxiety and depression. This neurotransmitter can help you look on the “brighter side” of things and remain calm in emotionally charged situations. Movement also stimulates efficient digestion, which is crucial for optimal serotonin release.

Getting at least 20-30 minutes of intentional movement each day can be beneficial, whether walking, engaging in intense exercise, or just doing chores around the house. This doesn’t even have to be all at once—break it up into five- or ten-minute chunks. Take a mental break from work every few hours and walk around your office or neighborhood. Moving more throughout the day can help boost your mood and spirit.

3. Find Moments for Mindfulness

Relax your mind by incorporating mindfulness moments into your daily routine. These are short activities or practices to cultivate a sense of calm and rest when you feel overwhelmed. And it can be whatever you find enjoyable! Whether it's through meditation, stretching, reading, or journaling, taking a five-minute break to focus on the present moment can profoundly impact managing your stress levels and inducing calm.

Make a list of activities you enjoy and keep it handy and accessible next time you need a break. When you’re ready for a mindful moment, scan your list, pick the activity that resonates with you at that time, and go for it! If you need to return to work or the activity you were doing previously, set a timer and give yourself grace and space to enjoy the moment.

4. Level Up Your Nutrition

Your brain needs fuel to function well. And the fuel it gets comes directly from the food you eat. Filling your plate with high-quality, nutrient-dense foods helps you get the array of vitamins and minerals you need to support cognitive function and mental health.

Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins gives your body the nutrients it needs to reduce internal oxidative stress and cope with mental stress effectively. Pay attention to your macros and incorporate foods high in antioxidants that support digestive health. Limit highly processed foods and added sugars to reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being.

5. Get Adequate Sleep

This one may be a no-brainer, yet so many people struggle to get quality sleep and enough of it. Sleep is crucial for mental recovery and detoxification in your body. Prioritizing sleep as part of your stress management strategy can be super powerful. Figure out how much sleep you need (we recommend starting with 7-9 hours each night), and set up a sleep schedule to get to bed on time. A consistent sleep routine can help promote quality sleep so you wake up rested.

Use some of these tips to help promote better sleep:

  • Take a warm bath or shower.
  • Use blackout curtains or a sleep mask to ensure darkness.
  • Turn off electronic devices 30 minutes to one hour before bed.
  • Clear out and declutter your space.
  • Stretch or meditate.
  • Brain dump or journal – get everything out of your mind onto paper.
  • Check the thermostat and keep your room comfortably cool.
  • Use a fan or white noise machine to help drown out external sounds. 

Get even more in-depth tips here!

6. Seek Support

Finally, remember that you don't have to navigate stress alone. If you're feeling overwhelmed and stuck, don't hesitate to seek support from a trusted ally or a qualified mental health professional. There's no shame in asking for help; knowing you’re not alone is important. 

If you feel comfortable opening up, you’ll likely find that your closest friends struggle with some of the same feelings you do. Reaching out for support and having a safe space to share can make a world of difference in managing stress effectively.


Final Thoughts about Effective Stress Management

Managing stress is a journey, not a destination. Because stressors are present daily, effective stress management is essential for maintaining mental and physical well-being in today's hectic world. You can proactively combat stress and promote health and happiness by incorporating strategies of listing and addressing your stressors, moving more, being mindful, supporting nutrition and sleep, and seeking support when appropriate. Remember to be patient with yourself and celebrate small wins throughout your journey.

If you're ready to take control of your stress and prioritize your well-being, consider one-on-one nutrition coaching. Our team of certified coaches can provide personalized guidance and support to help you reach your health and wellness goals.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. Serotonin. Retrieved from:
  2. Harvard Health Blog. 2022. Nutritional Psychiatry: Your brain on food. Retrieved from: