The first of the year can be invigorating, especially if your resolutions prioritize your physical health. But what about your mental health?
Just because the calendar changed, doesn’t mean your worries did too. But by making small, achievable tweaks in how you think and interact with others on a daily basis, you can make a stress-free New Year that much more real.
Check out these tips from Elizabeth Scott, a wellness coach with training in counseling, family therapy and health psychology and author of “8 Keys to Stress Management,” on how to have a stress-free new year.
- Make Sleep a Priority
Sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of problems, stress being the star of the show. Running on fumes isn’t helpful to you or anyone else – you’re less productive, more emotional and you’ll probably react more to stressful situations.
- Hobbies Aren’t Just for Children
Signing your children up for sports and after-school clubs can remind you of your own childhood, but who says extracurriculars are just for kids? A regular hobby can provide mental stimulation and stress relief to maintain a balanced lifestyle. It’s also a source of eustress, or a positive type of stress that keeps you feeling alive.
- Strengthen and Develop Relationships
The people we surround ourselves with can make a huge difference in our lives. A safety net of strong, healthy relationships can protect against unwanted stress. Conflicted relationships can cause a buildup of frustration and can even affect our health.
- Add Some Music to Your Daily Routine
Playing some tunes can change your mood and energy levels. Whether it’s turning up the radio on your commute or adding some tunes to your workout, you’ll feel less stressed and ready to approach the world.
- Get Rid of Clutter
Organization goes a long way to relieving stress. Clutter can slow us down as we search for lost items caught in a messy house. Reorganizing your space doesn’t have to be a huge project, either. Start by taking little steps, like donating old clothes and other items that are taking up space and slowing you down.
- Make Optimism a Priority
While you may say that you’re just a realist when it comes to how you think, you could be more stressed just because of how you think. Pessimism and negative self-talk can increase stress levels, especially if you’ve made a habit of seeing every situation as a threat or challenge.
- Avoid Workplace Burnout
Long hours and a heavy workload can cause anyone to feel stressed, so take some time to reevaluate your work life. What changes can you make in order to reduce the feeling of stress? Whether it’s finding ways to increase your productivity or adding to your life in some way outside your job, you’ll be a better person for it.
- Plan for the Future
It can be easy to stress about the future, especially if you don’t have a set plan of attack going forward. Do you have a strong financial plan in place? Do you enjoy the relationships you have with those around you? Are you expressing yourself as fully as you’d like? Making sure you have some idea of where you want to be in the next year, five years or ten years can relieve any apprehensions you might have and give you room to grow towards your goals.