This is the time of the year that we are shifting focus from summer fun to routine and schedules as our kids head back to school. Often times this is a stressful time of the year for parents as they try to re-establish routine and ensure school supplies and new clothes are bought. Top that off with a dose of reality that the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler. It’s no surprise that we see a large number of people come into the office that we haven’t seen in a while. Stress has this unfortunate ability to increase pain response and slow healing. Finding ways to manage that stress is going to be extremely important. It’s not uncommon to hear one of the doctors in the office making recommendations to decrease stress in people’s lives.

While everyone is different and it’s hard to go over all of the recommendations we can make, here are a few of the most common:

1. Sleep – Make sure you are getting adequate levels of sleep. The average person is going to need between 6-8 hours of sleep each and every night. The best way to ensure a good nights sleep is to turn off all electronics 1-2 hours before bed and have a consistent bed time each and every night.

2. Drink Water – It might seem weird that drinking water can help decrease stress but it really helps your body manage stress. Having tissues that are well hydrated allows for less chance of injury and it eliminates toxins from the body that can be detrimental for health.

3. Exercise – Make sure you’re getting at least 30 mins per day of physical activity. So many people comment that they don’t have time to exercise. But can you not find even 30 mins in your day? Put your phone down or skip one show on tv in the evening and you’ll be impressed at how it changes your mood.

4. Breathe – Focus on deep breathing. When we are stressed we tend to only use about 1/3 of our lungs. Focus on getting deep breaths into your lungs to help oxygenate your blood. This will elevate your mood and decrease stress.

5. Meditate – This doesn’t have to be meditating in the traditional sense. This can be spending time in prayer or listening to music. Change the script in your mind. Far too often we get stuck in cyclical thinking and it magnifies the stresses in our lives. Close your eyes and meditate in a method that resonates with you.

6. Hugs – Make sure you’re getting lots of hugs from your family or friends. Humans need physical touch. Every time you are hugged by a loved one there are hormones that are released that help decrease stress and elevate mood. When was the last time you hugged your spouse or kids?

7. Get adjusted – Adjustments are going to allow your body to manage the effects of stress so you can properly enjoy all of the above tips!

Don’t forget…… It’s not just adults that endure stress. Kids are also stressed out at this time of the year. So, implement these tips in their lives to ensure they have a well adjusted start to their school year. Remember you can always ask us about stress management tips while you’re in for your regular adjustment times as well.

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