As we step into a new year, it’s easy to let that overwhelmed feeling creep into our daily lives. With the holidays over and the stresses of work and school (or both!) weighing on us, it can be easy to slip into a stress-induced fog. To combat this feeling, it’s important to not only recognize the things that trigger stress, but also the ways you can cope with that stress. To successfully manage stress levels, the right tools and processes need to be set in place. Discover the key things you’ll need to bust stress in the new year!
- Posture. If you’re feeling tense, a simple adjustment to your posture can do the trick. Often, stress can cause you to tighten up and slouch over. By recognizing this and releasing yourself from this stressful bind, you regain control and can actively adjust yourself. To relieve tension, sit up straight and roll your shoulders and neck around a bit. This will help alleviate any built-up tension and allow your posture to reset.
- Breathe. Take a Breath. Or two, or three. Make sure they’re slow, deep inhales and equally as slow exhales. By focusing on your breathing, you instantly take your mind off of your stress. This not only allows you to acknowledge and take hold of your stress, but it also allows you to calm yourself down.
- Cleansing. Believe it or not, cleaning can be a stress buster! Tackling a cleaning or organizational task without a plan or the right equipment can cause even more stress. Set your mind on a cleaning or organizing task, gather the right tools, and bust that stress.
- Food. Stress can be triggered when blood sugars are low and you quickly become agitated. By eating something, you can quickly regain a sense of calmness. Foods that are high in fatty acids or foods that are somewhat spicy have been known to do the trick. No matter what you crave, be sure to take eat it in moderation! Consuming too much can cause weight gain and further increase your level of stress.
- Quiet. Sometimes all it takes is removing yourself from the hustle and bustle of daily life, even if only for a moment. Step away from your computer, your phone, and anything else that notifies you throughout the day and step into a quiet place. Take this time to focus quieting your mind and bust through any stress you are feeling.
- Exercise. If you feel stress mounting, working out can help you bust through it. While it may seem like a difficult task to get started, you’ll feel much better after a quick jog or a few pumps of iron. Not only are you focusing on something else, but your stress will help you work harder during your workout!
- Laugh. Watching a funny video online or talking to a friend on the phone can conjure up a giggle. When you’re feeling stressed out, a whole-hearted laugh can help you regain happiness and reset your stress levels.
- Meditate. Taking a few moments to turn your thoughts inward can help you to de-stress. Centering your mind on exactly what is stressing you out and focusing on it will help you evaluate your situation and help to clear away issues.
- Write. Releasing your feelings onto paper or your computer can be therapeutic to someone who feels stress mounting.
- Plan. Making plans with friends or booking a vacation can take your mind off of stressing and give you something to look forward to! By filling your calendar with activities that you want to do and balancing those activities with things that you have to do can help keep stress at bay.
- Hydrate. Bust through stress by drinking a glass of water. Stress can cause your mouth to dry up, so replenishing your body with water can help calm you down. Avoid drinking sugary drinks like soda to prevent spikes in attitude.
- Read. Diving into a good book can help take your mind off of whatever is stressing you. Envelope yourself in a good story. Analyze characters or plot twists to further take your mind away from the causes of stress.
- Listen. Whether you pop on a pair of headphones and crank up a song or pick up an instrument and start a jam session, music can be a major stress reliever!
- Do. Find an activity that you enjoy doing and make it your go-to stress buster. Whether it’s taking a yoga class or painting on canvas, find something that you are passionate about and make time for that activity. Turn to it when you feel truly overwhelmed and use it as a tool to help you bust through stress.
- Talk. Sharing your feelings with someone else, whether to a friend or mental health counselor, can provide relief to someone feeling stressed. Putting your stress out there will help take the pressure off you, which sometimes is all it takes to alleviate it.
When you’re stressed, sometimes all it takes is to get out of your head. Keep stress to a minimum with these stress busting essentials.
Author Bio: Eric Alnor is a licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Pennsylvania. He received his Master of Science degree in Counseling from Shippensburg University in 2011. Since then he has provided mental health counseling services in outpatient clinics, partial hospitalization, college counseling center, and inpatient psychiatric hospital settings.
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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