- Mental Health
New Years Resolutions that Relieve Stress
Make a Stress Relief Plan
This year, when it's time to turn over a new leaf for the new year, why not include some New Year's resolutions that relieve stress that will also improve your health at the same time? Many people come up with a new list of resolutions around each new year focusing squarely on diet and exercise, but all to often the issue of stress is not considered in the selection. Don't just measure pounds this year. You might be surprised how much healthier you feel just by finding some great ways to relax.
The fact is that, today, more people than ever are working longer and harder to get through the day, and an increased level of stress is the result. By focusing some effort on simple ways to reduce stress, you can make a real difference.
Why You Should Reduce Stress
Excess stress can have annoying or even serious negative impact on you. Among some of the common side effects that you may notice are these:
Headache or Muscle Pain - An aching feeling or frequent headaches is a very common sign of stress.
Fatigue and Sleep Issues - When under too much stress, many people feel tired during the day and can't sleep properly at night.
Anxiety or Depression - Stress can lead to constant anxiety or even depression.
Bad Choices - Those buried in stress will often eat poorly, have an extra drink, or treat others in a way that they wouldn't under normal conditions.
By making some simple changes and reducing the level of stress in your life, you can reduce or eliminate these ugly side effects.
Let's take a look at some of the best ways to relax and put your mind at ease.
Reading is a Great Stress Reducer
Reading is one of the best stress relievers out there, and it is so affordable and easy to read anywhere that this must be on your list. The best thing about reading is that it is a quiet, relaxed activity that will take your mind away from the stresses of daily life. There are few ways to better escape reality for a moment and ease the mind like curling up with a good book.
Today there are more options than ever to read wherever you go. While libraries, garage sales and friends all still carry books, it is also easy to get reading material on a Kindle, tablet, or even your phone, although that may be a bit small. Check out all of the free books available on Kindle, or figure out how to borrow from your library on your tablet. You'll be amazed where technology has led us.
Try to carve out some time in your day to just read. Turn off the television, shut down the computer, put the cell phone in the other room, and read a good book. Add tea or coffee if you like. You will literally feel the stress in your body decline while you're at it, and your brain will get some exercise too.
Yoga to Relieve Stress
Exercise is an excellent way to deal with stress, and nearly every form of exercise will help. Which type you choose is up to you based on your interests and physical ability. You should try to do something that you really enjoy so that you will stick with it. There are some forms of exercise that lend themselves really well to being stress reducers.
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise around for easing the mind and relaxing the body. With so many variations ranging from easy to very challenging, there are adequate yoga workouts for everyone, and it is very inexpensive and easy to do at home with a bit of instruction. Yoga will cause you to at least temporarily forget what's stressing you out.
Walking For Your Health
Walking is the one form of exercise that nearly every person can do, and the nearest gym for walking is as close as the treadmill in your home or the street outside. That means there is no excuse or gym membership needed to realize the health benefits of walking.
A walking routing for stress is no different than any other workout routine. Plan to get out and take a walk at least a few times per week for 30 minutes or more at a time. This will offer many health benefits, including added strength and stamina as well as lower levels of stress. When you go for a walk, the sites and sounds around you will take you away from the daily grind for a while and let your mind rest, and the extra exercise will burn some calories. You might even lose weight while you're at it!
Getting Organized Eases the Mind
If there is one thing that will take a stressful situation and make it worse, it's being completely unorganized and living in chaos. This often happens when people live one moment at a time and feel that they don't have control of their day. Sometimes this happens due to things beyond our control - sometimes not.
Investing a bit of time in a few ways to get organized will pay off and be a fantastic stress reliever. There are many ways to do this, but the best advice is to keep a schedule and use it to see what's coming up next in your day or week.
Cloud-based applications are great for this sort of technique, since an online calendar or agenda is easily viewed from a smartphone, work or home computer, or tablet. Just immediately add events when they come up and you'll never forget another appointment or have to shuffle through papers to remember when that next engagement is scheduled. With online calendars, you can even share them with others like family members, granting access for them to view or add events. That's excellent for busy families.
Whether you go online or use a simple datebook or calendar, spend just a few minutes each day reviewing the upcoming day or week and imagining how it will go. By doing this the night before, you will feel much more prepared the next day as you go through the agenda.
Find a Pattern
Much like getting organized, setting up some patterns can also make a huge difference in a person's peace of mind. For example, setting a specific day or days for laundry or other household chores will stop that feeling that you are constantly working in a never ending cycle.
Find a pattern for doing those things that annoy you when they don't fit your schedule, whether it's going to the grocery store or getting a haircut. Put everything in it's place and get it on your schedule so you can see it coming.
While you are working on patterns, working towards a sleep pattern is another very important step that you can take to lower stress. Erratic sleep patterns result in inconsistent energy levels throughout the day, and a lack of energy only adds to stress. Aim for 7-8 hours at least and get on as much of a schedule as you can.
Take Control of Stress Now
You can do these things very easily and make a huge difference starting today. To lower the stress in your life, try one of more of these techniques:
- find time to read
- try yoga
- go for a walk
- get events organized
- set up some patterns
- get enough sleep and make it consistent
Give it a try. You'll feel more at ease quickly, and unlike some promises you make to yourself that are hard to keep, any of these New Year's resolutions that relieve stress will be easy to stick to.