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As many of you know I like to talk about mental health. As a military spouse and a special needs parent, I totally get what stress is and the toll it can take on your body and health. This year I am determined to stress less and use the tools I’ve learned to accomplish it!
How to Stress Less This New Year!
1. Just Say “No”
One of the most important things I’ve learned over the past year is that it’s okay to say “no.” Sometimes it’s hard and there are things holding us back from saying it. Maybe we don’t say “no” because we want to be liked, or because we know it will give us a certain image if we don’t. Maybe it’s because we feel bad when we say “no” or maybe we just haven’t practiced saying it enough.
What I’ve learned is that for my sanity and for the sanity of my family, it’s okay to say no. Sometimes no means you won’t do any of what you’re being asked and sometimes, no means you just have to draw a line at your limit. You might feel bad at first, but the more you say “no” to the things that are stressful, the more you can say “yes” to the things that you truly want and love.
2. Do Something for Yourself.
If you really want to stress less, you have to make time for yourself. Yes, it sounds selfish as a mom, wife, and caregiver, but it’s truly not. When you give yourself even 5 or 10 minutes out of your day or even your week, you’ll find that you will stress less and begin to feel better about yourself.
So what are some ways you can treat yourself? Think in small stages and then go bigger as you are more comfortable. Things like:
- Take a Bath
- Call a Friend
- Read a Few Pages From a Book
- Grab your Favorite Latte
- Get a Pedicure or Paint Your Nails
- Lay in Bed for 5 Minutes by Yourself
- Go to Bed Early
- Clean the House Tomorrow
3. Do Something for Someone Else.
I know, I know I just told you to do something for yourself. But sometimes getting up, going out, and doing something for someone else is just the pick-me-up you need to stress less! If you’re one of those people that have a hard time saying “no” then finding something to do for someone else that is easy and fun will help.
- Text Someone to Tell Them You’re Thinking of Them
- Grab a Coffee and Drop it off at a Friend’s House
- Volunteer Somewhere
- Take Food to a Sick Friend
Find what is easy for you that doesn’t bring on more stress, but brings you joy instead!
4. Make Time for Music.
It’s been said that “music is the medicine of the mind” and I think most of you will agree with that. Music has the power feed emotions and calm the soul.
For me, it’s easy to put on music while I’m cleaning the house, driving around town, or even just before bed to help me relax. Music helps change my mood and gives me something else to focus on when I’m stressed. I love Spotify for my music because I can make playlists for what I want – even to match my mood. Spotify also has their own suggested playlists which I love. Here are a few I listen to help me stress less:
5. Learn to Breathe.
One of the biggest things that have helped me cope with my stress and anxiety has been learning how to take deep breathes and just breathe properly. That’s why I love yoga so much – it really teaches you how to stop and breathe and how to focus on your breath. Yoga also teaches you some great stretches so that you can stretch and breathe.
Sometimes just taking 30 seconds to breathe deeply and raise your hands above your hand to stretch a few times can really make a difference! Looking for more? Check out this Relaxing Stretching Workout for Stiff Muscles and Stress Relief.
What about YOU? Which of these easy stress-less options would work for you this New Year?