If you are like me, the last few days of the year are spent organizing, cleaning and planning for a new year that will be better than the last. All of us come to New Year’s with a new hope, dreams of a more successful and peaceful year and we make lists of what we want to accomplish.
So instead of stating my resolutions, my hopes and dreams, and promises for 2019, I have decided to make a list of what I am going to do to have less stress in my life. Namely, let’s take the U out of stress for 2019.
1. Plan A Time Out for Every Day
Whether it is first thing in the morning or after dinner cleanup at night (whatever time works better for you), plan on spending 5 to 10 minutes with no thoughts in your mind. Sit quietly and remove any technology within your reach. Close your eyes and breath deeply and slowly. When you exhale, let all the stress of the day just leave your body and give you a new feeling of calm and relaxation. This may take awhile to perfect but it’s one day at a time and we can only work to make our lives better just one day at a time.
2. Learn How to Say NO
Practice saying No over and over again…no, no, no , no….until it becomes an acceptable word coming out of your mouth with no regrets. I am not telling you to say “no” all the time but rather when you don’t want to do something or you don’t have time to help or go somewhere, say it loud and clear: NO!!!! You can, of course, say “Although I wish I could I have to say No because……” Practice with minor requests. Try not to over obligate yourself this year. Spend quality time with family and friends without doing three different things in one day!!
3. Play Your Music Loud
Whether you have Amazon Music, Alexa Echo or Google Home, do not hesitate to request a feel good song when you are in the mood or a very traditional soul-searching tune when you are thinking about chores, jobs and commitments. Let music become more a part of your life. We often talk about all the music we love and often we do not listen to it as often as we should. Music can change a blah mood to a dancing, happy feeling. Perhaps there are certain times of the day where you need an uplift or boost. Or maybe just to sing while you are cooking. While doing menial tasks like cleaning, cooking or paying bills, add some of your favorite tunes to ease you through.
4. Sip slowly
At the end of the day or in the middle of a work at home project, make yourself a cup of chamomile tea or hot chocolate. When relaxing after a long day at work pour yourself a crisp Merlot or fruity Malbec to take some tension away. Sit there sipping and just release all of the anxiety of the day. Sip while making dinner. Sip while in the bathtub. Sip while on the phone with an old friend. Sipping slowly adds to destressing that we all need. Once the holidays pass us and we are back on our routines, we often need to remind ourselves that we need to recharge our batteries and just relax. And yes, sometimes the calories are fine.
5. Work It Out
Whether you enjoy a Zumba class, some yoga or Pilates or simply walking the treadmill, moving your body releases stress buildup. We often need to push ourselves after a long day of work to go to the gym or meet a friend at an exercise class, but once you get there you will reap many benefits. Your heart will be pumping, you will burn calories and stress will leave your body. The hardest part is always getting there but once done we feel rejuvenated and feel like anything can be accomplished. Working out builds self-esteem and heart health, as well as add to our emotional well-being. So no more excuses this year.
6. Talk to A Friend
At the end of the day your spirits can be lifted just by chatting with a friend and catching up on life besides work. You get to re-establish your connection to each other and also realize that the rest of the world has the same kind of day that you do. Hearing that familiar, non-judgmental voice at the end of the phone boosts your ego and spirit. This is a refreshing end to a long, hard day. Often, we get so busy and make excuses to not be connected. Make it a priority this year!!
7. Remind Yourself How Important You Are
Every day when getting ready for work, go over the day in your mind and remind yourself why you are important part of this day and what you want to accomplish. Remind yourself of your qualifications, your dreams and what you see yourself doing a year from now. Smile at your reflection in the mirror and then you will smile at whoever you run into during the course of a day. Forget that it’s Monday. It’s just another day to be grateful for and live to the fullest.
So many of us will go on and on with resolutions but think about you this year. Less stress, more devotion to important parts of your life, and more dedication to taking care of you this year. I wish all of you a Happy and Healthy 2019. May you find your inner strength to grow this year and to appreciate yourself and all that you are grateful for.