The New Year has begun!
Here are 10 tried and true ways to manage your stress and put you on the path to a healthy and balanced life!
1. Create an evening routine that you can look forward to.
Having a predictable routine can bring comfort and grounding when life is stressful.
You could include stretches or Yoga, listening to calming music, journaling, or warm tea. Experiment with different evening routines to find what works for you. Make a commitment to do some sort of routine every night for one week and see how you feel.
2. Change up your sleeping environment
Don't like how your bedroom looks? Do you look forward to going to bed?
Change up your bedroom to make it feel more warm and inviting. Try to limit excess noise and light. Lighting can be important, you should avoid bright overhead light and instead use lamps. Add extra pillows and blankets or add LED candles. Find what creates an inviting retreat and makes you excited for bedtime.
3. Get more sleep
Now that you've changed up your bedroom you can make sure you're getting enough ZZZ's. Missing out on shut-eye not only makes you groggy and cranky, it can lead to weight gain, heart disease, reduced libido and diabetes. One study found that nightly screen-time is associated with poor sleep. If you're having problems sleeping, remove all screens from your bedroom. Try out a bedtime routine that focuses on unwinding and calming your mind. Even if you just take a quick cat nap during your lunch break, make sure to prioritize sleep for a happier, healthier you.
4. Boost breathing techniques with the right scent.
Most people know the benefits of breathing techniques. Add your favorite essential oil to enhance the benefits. Lavendar is good for relaxation, orange blossom can help with anxiety and rosemary may boost memory.
5. Swear it off.
Swearing can reduce physical pain, boost confidence and self-esteem. Mythbusters found that swearing aloud can increase your tolerance to pain. If you're having a bad day or stubbed your toe, try dropping a few f-bombs and see how much better you feel!
Decluttering your home and office can have many benefits on not just mental but also physical well-being. A recent study showed that people will eat more cookies and snacks if they are in a chaotic and messy environment. Another study found that a disorganized environment can have a negative impact on your ability to focus and process information. A clutter-free home and office allows you to perform tasks more efficiently because everything you need is readily available. Clutter leads to anxiety, embarrassment, and family stresses, when you clean up and learn to throw things away, you will feel happier and less stressed.
7. Get back to your hobbies
What hobby brings you happiness? What did you love doing as a child? Maybe there's something you've always wanted to do, like learn to play the piano or beekeeping, but never got around to. Finding a hobby you enjoy is not only relaxing but reduces stress and helps you recharge for future challenges.
8. Challenge negative thoughts
This one takes some practice but is worth the work. If you recognize that your way of thinking is self-defeating, you can learn to look at things from a different perspective. By changing how you think, you can over come all the craziness that life throws at you. Over time, you'll be able to catch the self-defeating thoughts before they grow and contribute to your stress.
9. Get outside.
Living in Colorado gives us ample opportunity to get outside. Numerous studies have found that simply sitting and looking at trees can reduce blood pressure and the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Spending time in nature can improve attention span and boost serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter.
Take 10 minutes a day, get off the couch and go outside.
10. Build a self-care kit.
Fill a basket with things that make you feel special. Whenever you're feeling down, grab something from your basket to lift your spirits. You could include:
Favorite tea or beverage, bath salts, new nail polish, scented lotions, essential oil blends, your favorite candy, or a new pair of warm socks.
I've been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2006. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my husband and dog. I also have a passion for cooking, baking and gardening.