New Year – New Stress: How to Deal with Stress in the Healthiest Way!

The holidays are a great time of year. We get to see family and friends we don’t see often, gift giving, and eating great home cooked meals. Although these are fun filled times, they can also be stressful times. Lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, and overall tension can take a toll on your mind and body. Now that these holidays are coming to an end, you might have seen how much stress has taken a toll. If you are one of the many of us who didn’t know how to deal with stress in a healthy way, here are some ways to help cope when the stress seems too overwhelming.

Stress doesn’t feel good. It’s not fun for your emotions or your body. Stress hormones make it much harder for your body to function optimally and maintain a healthy weight. Here are 3 simple ways to relieve stress and feel better in 5 minutes or less.

Give Me A Break

I know it will seem like the worst time to take a break, but just taking a few minutes to take a short walk, do some deep breathing, or sit in a quiet room can do the trick. The more you focus on what you are worrying about, the bigger it may become. Talk to a friend, family member, or co worker about what is stressing you out. They may be able to help out or alleviate some of your stress even by just listening. This is also a great time to schedule in your exercise. Whether you’re going on a run, a boot camp session, yoga, or a walk, any type of movement will help you burn off that stress and help with your energy. Whether your break is 5 minutes or 50, take the time! It’ll help take away some of that stress if not completely eliminating it.

Zen It

Take a moment and just breathe. Give yourself 5 minutes of listening to a guided meditation or simply being still in silence. Have some more time to zen out? What a better time to get into yoga than now? Not only will it help you to learn deep breathing techniques and stretch your body, but it will help your mind focus on something other than the stress at hand. New to yoga? Try Ali’s class that’s good for beginners and moderate yogis. She will teach you how to focus on the poses and how to develop your practice. Mix it up with a meditation class or try an app on your phone that guides you through deep breathing or mediation (there are also apps to guide you on some yoga moves too!). There many ways to plug some calm and Zen into your day, even if you think you don’t have the time. The time you spend on stress you can no spend on a de-stress technique.

Take Self Care

Many of us have stress because we are taking care of other things, and more likely, other people. The more we neglect to take care of ourselves, the more stress comes up. Stress is the indicator that you are low in your self care tank! Make time for you, whatever that means. Carve out time for a pedicure, massage, a stroll by yourself, reading a book, or drawing a bath (when is the last time you took a bath!?). Get some friends together to talk and enjoy yourselves. Whatever you give out, you need to replenish back to yourself. If you are running on an empty tank, you won’t be able to keep going to keep giving to others. Make a list of what you can do to help take care of yourself in every type of situation. Waiting in the car? Play some soothing music. At work? Take your lunch outside with a book. Wherever you are, there are many ways to help revive and replenish your mind, body, and soul.

Stress affects everything from high blood pressure and sleep to our relationships and overall demeanor. Don’t just sweep stress under the rug or chalk it up to the “norm”. Although you may not be able to completely get rid of triggers and situations that bring up stress, you can have ways in your pocket to deal with it when it’s there. Pay attention to your body; how you may hold that stress in, and how to release. Become the best version of yourself and don’t let that stress keep you down!