Here are 10 simple ways to relieve stress this December.

Yes, physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. However, so many other activities contribute to a more harmonious life. Here are just a few ways to relieve stress and anxiety this winter season:

1. Spend time with friends and family

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times. Join a social group or take part in an intergenerational program to maintain connections with family members and friends.

2. Volunteer

Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.

3. Laugh it off

Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

4. Sing it out

Studies show that choral singing improves our mood, with a decrease in stress, depression and anxiety. Join our Rock ‘n Soul Choir or enjoy Hemishe Hour this winter and have a blast!

5. Deep breathing

Take 5 minutes to focus on your breathing.  Close your eyes and rest hands on your thighs; take a deep breath in through your nose. Exhale through your mouth, pushing out all the air.  Repeat. This technique will help lower blood pressure and decrease heart rate. Join our meditation class where you can practice deep breathing techniques.

6. Get moving

Whether you take part in a group fitness program or simply walk, dance, climb stairs or swim, moving your body will help control the negative symptoms of stress, such as high blood pressure and blood sugar; exercise will also keep you strong and more resilient to the negative effects of stress.

7. Yoga and Tai Chi

Yoga and Tai Chi top the list as excellent relaxation-type exercises.

8. Get outdoors

Get outdoors for a brief break. The healing power of fresh air can benefit both your physical and mental health. Don’t be deterred by snow or a full schedule. The best way to embrace Montreal’s winter season is to get out and enjoy it! Snowshoeing is great winter pastime.

9. Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks

Hunger and dehydration, even before you are aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

10. Do a quick posture check

Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you sit at a desk or in front of a screen most of the day, make sure you get up and move around every 30 minutes, if possible.  This will keep postural muscles activated and avoid tension pains, which can lead to physical stress.  Check out our winter Posture and Balance class or our other Stability and Mobility classes.

Join us!

Take that first step and join the 50+ Cummings Centre community in exploring new-found passions while staying connected with old friends and new. Ensure enhanced mental, physical and emotional health as you age. Create your own future at the Cummings Centre.

Want to know more? Request a program Guide or tour our main campus at 5700 Westbury Ave.