A new year is upon us, and with it, all of the collective optimism and renewed energy to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Although most people tire of New Year’s resolutions within a few short months, falling back into old habits, there are a few commitments that can be made and kept, thanks to their simplicity and the fact that they can improve quality of life. One such commitment is to reduce stress levels. The following article will provide some simple stress management tips that can be applied throughout the year.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is a great way of using energy productively. You do not need to visit the gym every day of the week, although if this lifestyle suits you, then by all means, go with it. Work on increasing your physical activity level slowly; commit to walking to work once a week, or indulge in a new winter sport such as snowboarding or ice skating. Many people find that moving their bodies helps them to creatively tackle challenging problems, which otherwise might lead to stress.
Yes, what you eat really does affect your mood. Eating a balanced diet that is full of vitamins, fiber, and enough protein is an excellent way of keeping your brain in tiptop shape, thereby facilitating your ability to handle stressful situations rationally and efficiently. If you enjoy the occasional coffee or other caffeine boost, limit the amount that you consume daily, and cut out caffeine sources mid-afternoon, to ensure that come nighttime, your sleep will be undisturbed. This suggestion leads to one of the most important stress management tips:
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deficit has almost become an epidemic in modern society. Constantly driven to achieve and produce, virtually every individual is guilty of depriving themselves of sleep in order to get more done. In a stressful situation, you may be tempted to “pull an all-nighter” in order to meet a deadline or get in some last minute studying, but contrary to what your over-stressed brain is telling you, a rested mind and body will actually be able to accomplish more, without over-taxing your system.
Finally, Set Achievable Goals
One of the easiest ways of letting stress rule your life is by setting goals that are impossible to achieve. By continually setting the bar above what you can reasonably expect from yourself, you put yourself in the position of always scrambling to catch up. Instead of setting yourself up for disappointment, take the time to honestly evaluate your time frame and your energy level, in order to be able to achieve your goals on time and stress-free.
Eliminating stress from your life may feel like a daunting task. By following the simple stress management tips listed above, however, you will quickly find that you have more positive energy and multiple strategies to deal with stress when it does find its way into your life. So go ahead and dare to live stress-free in 2011!