The New Year can be a very stressful time as many of us set new goals by exercising and going on diets. But the best way to make this year less stressful is to adopt some of these new routines:
- Take a social media break. You may see social media as relaxing, but having the constant need to check what is going on really does add stress. Watching the ups and downs of other people’s lives and comparing them to yours can cause angst. What makes it worse is there is actually a physical jolt of a dopamine high that runs throughout your body each time you sign on with anticipation. Start by taking a 24-hour social media break and enjoy the need not to check in! If you’re under 21, start with 24 minutes!
- Declutter and digitize. Take a few hours (or a day) to throw outdated or unwanted paperwork from your office or home. Anything that needs to be saved can be scanned and digitized so it is stored on the Internet. A clean office and home environment is less stressful and more peaceful.
- Deal with the toxic people. Similar to #2, eliminate exposure to negative people that cause you stress. Start by prioritizing the critical relationships in your life. Try to clear the air by talking to any toxic people that are important to you. Cut ties with those who don’t have your best interests at heart.
- Eat better. Having the right types of food in your body can increase your mental and physical energy. Few people can run their life effectively on fast food and coffee. There needs to be a good balance of nutrients to fuel yourself. Eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible and limit sugars, fats and simple carbohydrates.
- Plan your cash. Money is one of the leading causes of stress in life. Make a change this year by formulating a budget and set savings goals for the new year. With a little planning, you will be surprised how much less stress you will feel around money.
- Exercise and massage. Exercise is one of the most effective stress relievers. It can increase endorphins, distract from your worries and, overall, improve any mood. But make sure you find an exercise routine that you enjoy. It can be weight training in the gym, yoga, dance or just walking. Add massage every week or two to your routine as a reward.
- Sleep more. Most people need eight hours of sleep a night, but do not get it. They end up being tired the next day. If you struggle to get to sleep, reduce any electronic device screen time an hour before bed. In addition, cut your caffeine after 2pm and only do activities that calm your mind in the two hours before bed.