We’ll all make that first grey hair discovery at some point. Usually, in our 20s or 30s and often, we can ignore it or hide it. But eventually, that one grey hair turns into several. Before long, you’re asking yourself, “Can I pull off the silver fox look? Can I bring out my best George Clooney?” Or, you’re reaching for the Just for Men, as much as we all laughed off those commercials initially.

Can grey hair be reversed?

Man with grey hair

If sporting the silver isn’t for you quite yet, you’ll be glad to know that greying hair isn’t a one-way process (at least not if you’re under 40). According to a study done in 2021, some people were able to get some colour back in their hair by reducing stress. More research needs to be done in this area, but it’s another great reason to look at how you can reduce stress in your life.

Too much stress can cause a host of health issues, including an increased risk of heart disease, some types of bowel disease, and can negatively affect your immune system.

Lowering stress doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t necessarily need a major overhaul of your life. Here are some easy tips to help you reduce stress:

Get out into the great outdoors

As Clinical Counsellor Lindsay Killam explains, “Getting outside reduces cortisol, a stress hormone your body releases when you’re overwhelmed or alarmed. Recent research shows that cortisol levels drop after as little as 20 minutes in nature. No extreme survival skills are required.”

So, whether it’s a walk on the seawall with your partner, a trip to the park to throw a ball for your dog, a hike with the guys, or joining a team in your area, getting outside has major mental health benefits.

Clock out and shut down

When it’s closing time for your workday, try to leave your to-do list at the office. Shut off the laptop, turn off the email/Teams/Slack notification on your phone, and keep them off until you clock in the next day. 

For those of us who work from home, do your best to finish work at a regular hour and close down the office as best you can. Put the laptop in a drawer, shut the office door, whatever you need to do to get that sense of separation from work.

Take a break from technology

The tech shutdown goes beyond just your work apps. Social media and the news can be all-consuming, especially when it’s right at our fingertips. That onslaught of information can often be overwhelming, frustrating or just downright upsetting. 

So shut ‘er down too! Limit your news or social media intake to once per day and use that newfound time to sit outside, get some fresh air, or spend time with your people.

Settle into some you-time

Man reading

You can’t argue that the activities you find most calming, and give you a few minutes to check-in and slow down, are inherently stress relieving. For some, that’s unwinding with a good book. For others, it’s hitting the gym. Whatever it is—exercise, reading, stretching, practising a hobby, getting a massage—find time in your routine to take care of yourself and let the stress melt away.

This could also look like practising mindful breathing. Mindful breathing can help decrease stress and anxiety and balance some of the not-so-awesome feelings you might be experiencing. Interested in testing it out? Check out the MindFit Minutes and men’s soundscapes in the MindFit Toolkit.

Find time for fun 

Fun can take many different forms, indoor or outdoors, and can be planned out or spontaneous. So jam to your favourite tunes while cooking dinner, or plan a camping trip with the guys. Whatever you’ve got time for, fun is an undeniable mood booster and can play an important role in shedding stress.

Get some quality shut-eye

Getting a good night’s sleep can significantly impact how we feel throughout the day, so work on a sleep routine that gets you 7-9 hours per night. Even better? Train your brain to go to bed at a specific time every night to see the benefits of regular sleep patterns.

Fuel up and hydrate

Keeping the body running with a well-balanced diet and the right amount of water is important to managing stress. If you’re dehydrated or lacking in fibre, vitamins, nutrients or phytonutrients, this can cause undue stress on your body.

When it comes to food, fuel up with lots of fruits and vegetables; and while we aren’t saying you need to cut out all the “fun” foods filled with sugars and fats, keep those cheat days in check and make sure you aren’t moving into stress eating territory. Everything in moderation, as our moms would say!

For the good old H2O, men should drink 8 to 12 cups of fluid a day to keep their brain functioning and their emotional and physical health at its top tier. Bonus: staying hydrating doesn’t mean chugging bottles of water all day—there are other ways to stay hydrated.

What are some tips and tricks you use to manage stress? Let us know in the comments below.

MindFit ToolKit

Build the skills to cope with stress and anxiety with these free online tools and resources. Start improving your mental health to help you handle whatever life throws at you.