Having a self-care routine is a great way to keep stress at bay, but it’s also important to have techniques that you can use in the moment when you are feeling overwhelmed. International dating experts state that when you take care of yourself, your love life will thrive.

⦁ The importance of taking a deep breath regularly:

Taking a deep breath (or five) can slow the heart rate and stabilize blood pressure—both of which often skyrocket in stressful situations—and can help you control your physical stress response so that you can react to the situation from a place that is more mentally and emotionally aware.

Take time to unplug. Most of us are never far from our smartphones. We text with friends and check social media obsessively, often making it the first thing we do when we wake up and the last thing we do before falling asleep. That might be contributing to our stress levels, though, so experts say that taking time away from the internet and technology is a great way to manage stress. Some studies have found that social media use can decrease people’s ability to cope with feelings of being overwhelmed. Other studies have found that being on social media can increase chances of depression. In addition to those issues, the blue light emitted by tablets, smartphones, and other technology can disrupt our natural sleep patterns. Since sleep is important to coping and feeling less stressed, unplugging before bed is essential. If you’re feeling stressed, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. However, moving your body can have powerful stress-busting effects. Studies have found that exercise can lower stress levels and leave you feeling better psychologically (and stronger physically). It also helps you build resilience to stress, which is great if you don’t see your life slowing down any time soon.

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⦁ Couples who exercise together have better relationships, according to an international dating coach.

Scientists don’t understand exactly why exercise helps relieve stress, but common hypotheses emphasize the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that facilitate feeling good, involved with exercise. With more endorphins flowing, you’re less likely to feel the negative effects of stress.

Reach for healthy foods. If you’re feeling stressed, science says that you’re more likely to reach for high-fat foods and other unhealthy treats. Although people report that they reach for these foods to comfort themselves, unhealthy eating can add to your stress in the long term as you worry about the negative implications of your diet for your overall health. Rather than reaching for an unhealthy treat when you’re feeling stressed, choose wholesome, healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. These will help keep your blood sugar stable and your emotions in check throughout the day.

Go on a mental vacation. Remember how relaxed you felt the last time you were on a vacation without deadlines, carpools, or groceries to worry about? Tap into those feelings that next time you sense stress might overwhelm you—not by booking a flight, but by closing your eyes and visualizing a wonderful memory from that time. Take time to find what works for you. There are many ways to manage stress, so the key is finding what works for you. Exercise, talking with friends, reading, and praying are among the most common ways that people relieve their stress. But if those don’t sound right for you or if you don’t feel like doing them on a particular day, you have plenty of other options.

If you don’t know where to start, think about what things have soothed you in the past. If you’ve always loved taking a hot bath, that might be an excellent stress management technique for you.

The key is making the time to care for yourself consistently. “Balance is really important,” Archer says. “Our schedules will fluctuate, but try to schedule in self-care and stress management time just like you would a meeting or class. Sometimes you may have time to get a massage; other times you may only have a few minutes to do deep breathing or listen to your favorite song on the way to work.”

If you try a few different things and still feel that you’re struggling to manage your stress, Archer suggests talking to a therapist who can help you develop a stress management routine. “Stress is impossible to avoid in life,” she says. “We all have responsibilities, traffic, disagreements and so forth that we are faced with. Since we can’t avoid stress, we must have a stress management routine so that we can better deal with stress in order to not let it interfere with our well-being, relationships, or responsibilities.”

“That’s a mission we can all get behind.”