1. Drink more water
Water has a lot of proven health benefits. It gives you energy, makes you feel full (thereby helping you with your weight loss goals), and helps you have glowing skin. Drinking plenty of water every day will help you combat stress as well. This is because when you drink water frequently, your body stays hydrated. And this helps keep cortisol in the body at an acceptable amount.
High levels of cortisol are associated with stress. If you become dehydrated, this will cause the cortisol level in the body to increase. This, in turn, leads to stress. The easiest way to increase your water intake is to always carry around a reusable water bottle. Whether you are at work, at home, or exercising, whenever you see your water bottle, you will be reminded to drink.
2. Eat more nutritious food
A long, tiring work shift is undeniably stressful. As already mentioned, when you are stressed out, your cortisol levels are high. This will cause you to crave salty, sweet, and fatty foods for the temporary pleasure they can give you.
Stress eating can cause a number of health issues which include obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. And it only alleviates your stress temporarily.
Whether you are feeling stressed out or not, make sure to eat more healthful fare. Choose foods that are rich in complex carbohydrates that fuel the brain and body and support concentration and focus.
But if you want to reward yourself after a particularly exhausting day, go for mood-boosting foods such as dark chocolate and nuts. You can also indulge in whole wheat pasta or a turkey sandwich with whole grain bread.
3. Take the stairs
If you need to head to a unit or department located on another floor of the hospital or clinic, skip the elevator and use the stairs. By doing so, you will get a quick, easy workout that will wake up your lower body muscles, exercise your lungs, and get your blood pumping.
Aside from experiencing these benefits from this quick workout, you will reduce your stress levels, too. This is because exercise lowers levels of the body's stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Even if you only need to go up or down two flights of stairs, as long as you do this every day, these small steps can help you become healthier.
4. Shut off all electronics half an hour before going to sleep
The screens of electronic devices, whether small or large, contain a blue light that reduces the body’s production of melatonin. This particular hormone sends signals to your brain that it is time to start preparing for sleep.
To improve your quality of sleep, which is crucial to reducing stress and having a healthy body, turn off the TV, computer, and other electronic devices in your bedroom 30 minutes before bedtime. Set your phone to go on "sleep mode" 30 minutes before your bedtime as well.
By developing this simple habit, you will increase the quality and even the quantity of your sleep significantly.
5. Get a massage
Lastly, massage offers various health benefits such as improving blood circulation, flexibility, and immunity, and relieving pain. These are health benefits that will help you as you go through your daily activities as a medical or healthcare worker. More importantly, massage reduces the levels of the stress hormone cortisol which will boost your mood and help you feel better overall.
Getting a massage every day, however, is not recommended or doable. On the days you can’t see a massage therapist, do self-massage. There are many simple self-massage therapies you can easily learn. These include self-massage with a ball, your hands, and a pressure-motion technique.
To help your body become healthier inside and out, aim to incorporate these simple changes in your daily routine.