Stress can affect all of us, at any time of the year, and in many shapes and forms. A big issue with stress is that the toll it takes on your mental health can also create a significant impact on your physical health. From being unable to get out of bed to craving sweets, stress can negatively affect your physical health and fitness goals.

Below are 5 positive ways to take care of your mind and body during stressful times:

1) Use stressful times to take a walk

Frustration at work or home can lead to wanting to leave the situation. But where do you usually go? To your car, to get ice cream? The next time you need to clear your head, consider doing so by walking a mile or two. This is a great way to blow off steam while also getting the physical benefit of exercise. Take a load off with a walk!

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2) Substitute stress-eating snacks

Stress eating is definitely a real thing and can also oddly help your mental health, as well, but you should replace your snacks with something that isn’t as bad for you. For example, craving something sweet? Skip the brownie or candy, and have a lollipop (it’s less than 60 calories)! If you’re craving something salty, opt for Baked Lays versus regular. There are ways to stress eat without completely ruining your diet or eating healthily!

3) Get out of bed, because exercise = endorphins

Exercise is proven to boost moods and energy – it’s not just for looking good. Next time you’re feeling mega stressed, sweat it out at the gym! Not only will it take your mind off of the stress, but it could also even give you the time you need to recharge and tackle your day. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels! Punch that punching bag!

4) Yoga is your best friend

Yoga can be an amazing way to release the mind and relax, and there are also physical benefits to it. Yoga will simultaneously take care of your mental and physical health and have you feeling relaxed and reenergized after a session!

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5) Give yourself a break

Sometimes it’s okay to eat pizza and binge-watch Netflix on the couch. Give your body the break it needs, as well as your mind. It is always okay to take a break and handle stress in the ways that feel right for you in the moment!

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