After a rollercoaster year, it’s no wonder that so many of us are being overcome with crippling anxiety and stress. 2020 has thrown a curveball that has shaken the world up in a big way. Cortisol, also referred to as the stress hormone, begins to rise in response to emotional trauma. Over time, high cortisol levels can lead to different side effects and disorders that can create dysfunction in your life.

The good news? There are things you can do to minimize cortisol levels and regulate your body back to its baseline state. By practicing good self-care and remaining healthy, you can help your body begin to relax.

Some of our favourite tips and tricks to lower your cortisol:

1 Eat healthy foods & take your vitamins

Nourishing your body with healthy food is a good idea, whether you’re stressed or not. Not only will it help with stress and anxiety, but you’ll reap the rewards in other ways too. Avoiding foods such as sugar-dense snacks, sodas, and white bread will help lower cortisol levels, so you can feel your best.

Are you looking for the best supplements to take during a stressful time in your life? A great option is fish oil, which helps reduce the stress hormone and supports your brain function. Not to mention, you’ll notice healthier skin and shinier hair!

And, as always, make sure you’re staying hydrated and drinking 6-8 cups of water a day.

2. Seek talk therapy to work through your emotions

Are you having a tough time expressing yourself? Consider seeing a therapist to work through your different emotions and past trauma. Therapists can provide you with coping mechanisms to get through a difficult time and minimize stress.

Your therapist may also recommend writing in a journal as a healthy outlet for emotions. This practice can help you purge the feelings you have bottled up, so you don’t suffer the long-term consequences.

3. Say goodbye to caffeine and alcohol

Caffeine and alcohol can both contribute to stress. As you’re making dietary changes, cut out the caffeine and liquor. For a mid-day energy boost, try making tea instead of brewing a pot of coffee.

Alcohol is a depressant. Despite the common myth that it helps you unwind, it actually has several adverse side effects when dealing with stress.

4. Move your body

The best thing you can do during a trying time is welcoming exercise back into your daily routine! Find a type of activity that speaks to you. Whether that’s yoga, running, or weightlifting, make time for mild to moderate daily exercise. Not only does moving your body feel great physically, but it will help release cortisol levels and return your brain to a more relaxed state.

5. Get outside

Listen to the birds, hike in the mountains, or just go sit in the sun for a bit! Getting out in nature provides an immediate calming experience. Take your pet for a walk or ask your friend to join you and appreciate all of the beautiful things that nature has to offer.

If you are practicing good self-care and still can’t seem to get the hang of your stress levels, consider seeing a doctor. A physician can help diagnose and monitor cortisol levels to help you get to a more comfortable emotional state.

By Celina Dawdy