April 16th is National Stress Awareness Day. Even though this day only comes once a year, it’s important we remember to give ourselves time to rest and relax year-round. Stress is something we all deal with, and excess amounts of stress have a negative impact on our minds and even our bodies. Being aware of the stress you’re under and actively working to combat it is the only way to give yourself a healthy balance.
As we reported last year, there was a 2022 study from Columbia University which says white/gray hair can be reversed when you de-stress. “When hairs are still under the skin as follicles, they are subject to the influence of stress hormones and other things happening in our mind and body,” says coauthor Martin Picard, an associate professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Once hairs grow out of the scalp, they harden and permanently crystallize these exposures into a stable form.”
This study shows that de-stressors such as vacation and relaxation can actually help your hair regain its ability to grow pigmented. The researchers found that some participants’ gray hairs naturally reverted to their prior color when lifestyle stressors dissipated. One participant went on vacation, and five hairs returned to dark color during the holiday.
We share the study with you to demonstrate how important it is to honor yourself and your body. Here are some of our favorite ways to de-stress, de-compress, and bring balance back to our lives (both big and small):
1. Have dedicated no-technology time
In the modern age, one of the biggest sources of stress comes from our phones, computers, and televisions. There’s work stress, social stress, and environmental stress; the more we use our devices, the more stress we feel. Take a little time each day to step away from all your devices and do something else. Get outside, read a book, spend time with family and friends, cook a meal, or meditate. The stresses of life will still be there when you’re done, but your brain will have had some time to reset.
2. Get adequate sleep
Stress can often lead to a lack of sleep, which in turn causes more stress and tension. Making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night to ensure your levels of stress go down (at least a little) and you should be more rested to take on the day.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise releases endorphins which will help to boost your mood, and movement will help to lower blood pressure and relax your mind. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, even if that’s just taking a walk or doing yoga. Some movement is always better than no movement.
4. Find forms of de-stressing self-care
When we’re stressed, self-care is often the first thing that we lose sight of. Find ways to fit a little self-care into your daily routine to make sure you’re caring for yourself.
5. Remove stressors from your life
Removing stress from your life might seem impossible, but there are small ways to help relieve it. Things like meal prepping, getting a housekeeper once a month, talking with a therapist, and simply saying “no” to things you don’t have the mental capacity to deal with.
All of these remedies can help to reduce stress and bring more zen to your life. What methods do you use to de-stress?
Rock it like a Redhead!