STRESS. Whether it’s the impending deadline at work, too much to do and not enough time, or just the stress you put on yourself to meet your next goal - even if it’s just getting out of the door on time. We’re all familiar with stress and it’s ever-presence in our lives. 

According to the American Psychological Association, poorly managed stress can contribute to obesity, increased blood pressure, and increased risk of heart disease.

Your challenge this week is to practice a stress relieving activity for at least 10 minutes per day. You don’t have to pick just one, try a few! 

There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change and a litle bit of time. Luckily, completing a stress relieving activity for at least 10 minutes per day is quick, easy and can have some significant changes in store! One study led by the University of Massachusetts Medical School taught mindfulness to a group of people with clinical levels of anxiety and found that 90% experienced significant reductions in anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness doesn’t necessarily mean meditation. By definition it is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” So truly just acknowledging your stress is a step in the right direction. 

Here are some activities you might try this week: 

  • Brew a cup of tea and drink it. Chamomile and Green Tea have both been known to be used for stress reduction. But remember to use even the time you’re brewing your tea as a moment to get a grip on your stress. Breathe deeply. Focus on pouring your water. Find a quiet spot. Sip, and enjoy. 

  • Take a walk. Taking a walk can increase your levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps the brain deal with stress, and doing light activity outdoors has been shown to greatly boost a person's mood and energy, according to researchers at the University of Essex in England. If you can't stop ruminating, consider listening to a podcast or some calming music while you're out for a stroll.

  • Stretch, or do a quick yoga routine. According to research, yoga interrupts stress by producing an effect that’s opposite to your flight-or-fight response.

  • Laugh it off. Ever find yourself stuck in a rut of a bad mood and you just can’t shake it? Try watching a cute or funny video to reset your mind and begin again. 

  • Give someone a hug. We know, a 10 minute hug sounds like a long time but hear us out. Hugs are incredibly underrated when it comes to health. From reducing stress, reducing pain, reducing your fears and improving your heart health - the hug is a mighty tool. Now, maybe you don’t want to lock arms with someone for a full 10 minutes but perhaps you know a few people who could use one? 

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

—Virginia Satir, family therapist

There are so many ways to decrease stress. How will you spend your 10 minutes today?


Prize Details

In addition to learning new healthy lifestyle skills, by completing this Weekly Challenge you’ll also receive 1,000 FITera points! Be sure to blog about this challenge and keep us updated on your progress. At the end of each week, please email us at support@fitera.com with how you did on the challenge, as well as your FITera username.

Rules & Regulations

Keep us updated on how you’re doing with the weekly challenge by posting blogs on FITera with your progress, questions, or any tips, obstacles, or experiences you’d like to share. There is no minimum number of blogs required, but the more you post, the more support, encouragement, and accountability you’ll receive from others.

Just as you’ll receive support from others, please offer the same kind of feedback and encouragement to your peers. As you’ll soon discover, the more you give, the more you’ll receive.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Every Monday we'll announce the details of the upcoming week's challenge. Each challenge goes from Monday to Sunday.

COMPLETING YOUR CHALLENGE: At the end of each week (Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday morning), please post a blog on how you did with your challenge for the week, such as what you learned, obstacles you overcame, and your plans for continuing this new healthy habit long-term.