Are you feeling it? Stress? Pressure?
You are not alone. 65% of Americans feel stressed at work, and 54% feel stressed from family responsibilities. Maybe you are feeling stressed with the New Year coming up as there may be new expectations on you from others or self imposed.
To compound this, there’s also less sunshine, and colder and shorter days, which can put a real damper on your mood if you’re one of the many people who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (correctable with Vitamin D supplementation)
Researchers found that people reported they were more likely to “behave in sedentary ways like watching TV, sleeping, eating and drinking to manage their stress. Many individuals engage in comfort eating and other unhealthy behaviors to cope with their stress levels.”
These are negative ways to handle stress. Yes, many are EASY to do, however, as mentioned in a previous blog posts, All the Small Things Matter, there are equally easy things to do to relive stress, it is just a matter of choice.
Here are some other ideas to help turn your mood around and blow off some steam!
- Turn on some music and move! A solo dance party will turn cleaning up the kitchen, or cooking, into less of a chore, plus, it gets the heart rate up which helps your body release endorphins, those feel-good hormones, that’ll boost your mood.
- Get Outside. Take a quick walk outside and enjoy nature. There’s nothing like a walk in the woods or a change of scenery and fresh air to shift your perspective.
- Stay away from social media.When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to compare your situation with that of others. Remember: social media is where people generally show their “perfect” life, not their REAL life.
- Give someone a compliment. When you go to Target, or the post office or the supermarket, give a total stranger a sincere compliment. Pick the person you think would be the last person anyone else would compliment, and make their day!
- Distract yourself! Work out, go for a run, play a game, or even tackle an unrelated household chore, no better time than now to clean up your Google Drive folder!
- Breathe. Do 5 minutes of breathing exercises – just sit back and focus on your breath or get crazy and try alternate nostril breathing . This can be an amazing “reset” for your mood because it helps relieve anxiety.
An important note: there’s a difference between stressed and feeling true anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling truly distressed, find a trained professional to talk to. There’s no need to handle all of that by yourself, and there is no shame and it may help you create a even more kick ass version of yourself!