Taking action sooner rather than later is a good strategy for managing stress, Heart Research UK has advised in the run up to National Stress Awareness Day on 5 November.

These heart healthy tips will help to keep the lid on your stress levels:

Eat a balanced and varied diet. Treat yourself to some exotic fruit, colourful salads, tuna steaks or other oily fish and freshly prepared foods.

Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity (in one go or in instalments) five times a week. Endorphins are released in your brain after exercise leaving you feeling happy and alleviating the symptoms of stress.

Protect your lunchtime - leave the office or house to go for a walk, visit a healthy eating café or meet up with friends.

Share (and halve) your concerns with your colleagues, boss, friends or family.

Programme some daily ‘YOU’ time for a new hobby, a long bubble bath, watching your favourite comedy or a special outing with your loved ones. Tell others about your plans to help encourage you to follow them through.

Keep your ‘to do’ list realistic by not including anything unachievable or unnecessary. Do the hard tasks first and reward yourself after.

Adopt a relaxing routine in the evenings by avoiding caffeinated drinks, alcohol, smoking and late night TV to get a good, quality night’s quality sleep.

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