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Strategies For Managing Stress In The New Year & Beyond

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Are you unsure which of your priorities is most important in the New Year? Do you have plenty of dreams for the future, but not many concrete plans?

Check out these 15 resolutions and strategies for managing stress you can use to improve your physical and mental well being during the next 12 months and beyond.

Resolutions to Improve Your Physical Health 

  1. Eat right. Focus on adopting healthy eating habits rather than resorting to crash diets. Learn to eat more slowly and reduce your portion sizes.Eat a variety of foods with plenty of complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and fruits. Add in some lean proteins and healthy fats to complete your meals.
  1. Exercise daily. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every day. Round that out with training for strength and flexibility.
  • Find a variety of activities that you enjoy, like brisk walks and biking.

  • Get an exercise ball or treadmill that you can use at home on busy days or when the weather outside is unpleasant.

  1. Get adequate rest and sleep. Insufficient sleep can make you more vulnerable to weight gain and many illnesses. Different individuals need different amounts of sleep, but the conventional eight hours is a good rule for most people. If you constantly feel drowsy, try going to bed earlier. If you have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, try this.  Chamomile tea  helps me sleep like a babe each night.
  2. Take care of your bones. Almost half of all women over 50 will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture. Men can be at risk too. Eat plenty of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Get some sunshine and lift weights or do other resistance training.
  3. Practice good posture. Strong abdominal muscles will protect your back from injury and help you look younger. Get used to pressing your navel towards your lower back and keeping your shoulders relaxed. Breathe from your abdomen rather than your chest.
  4. Quit smoking.

    You probably already know all the dangers of smoking, including lung cancer and premature aging. Many people make several attempts before quitting for good so be open to various cessation methods. Your doctor may be able to help you find the right plan for you.

  5. Drink alcohol in moderation. Some people may need to avoid alcohol all together. Others can stay safe within the general limits of one drink a day for women and two for men. Avoid alcohol before bed so you get good quality sleep.
  6. See your doctor. Regular checkups enable early treatment to keep small health issues from growing worse. If you can’t afford health insurance, you may be able to get some free or inexpensive screenings at local pharmacies and health fairs.

Resolutions to Improve Your Mental Health 

  1. Manage stress. Keeping stress under control lets you enjoy life more. Set aside time each day for meditation or listening to soothing music or any of these 50 simple stress management activities.
  2. Build healthy relationships. Develop a strong network of support. Communicate openly and with respect.
  3. Monitor your thoughts. Think positive. Divert your attention away from nonproductive worrying by brainstorming creative solutions to challenging situations.
  4. Practice positive self talk. Be a good friend to yourself. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments.
  5. Be compassionate. Show compassion to yourself and others. Be aware of the suffering in the world and look for ways to alleviate it.
  6. Engage in lifelong learning. Keep your mind sharp by giving it constant challenges. Take adult education classes or listen to foreign language tapes.
  7. Consider counseling. It’s wise and courageous to ask for help when you need it. Professional counseling or spiritual practices may help you bounce back from unfortunate events like divorce or unemployment. They can be useful for smaller things, too, like if you’ve just had a rough week.

Still on track with your new year resolutions?

While many New Year’s resolutions get discarded faster than the dried out Christmas tree, there are ways to make them stick. Set specific goals that are meaningful and attainable for you.

stress-management-activitiesImproving your physical and mental health by learning how to implement stress management activities in your daily life, is a great gift for yourself and your whole family.

I want you to know that I am here for you and I  would love to hear from you.

Use the comment box below to share your thoughts with me on these two questions:

  1. Which of your priorities is most important for the new year?
  2. What specific thing can you do to improve your physical and mental well-being during the next 12 months, and beyond?
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6 Comments

  1. Ariselli Targaryen says:

    Getting adequate rest and sleep is really high on my priority list for this new year. I have been suffering from insomnia for months now and I don’t feel like I have really gotten quality rest in over a year. I am sick of it! I have never tried the tea you recommended so I have already ordered it and I can’t wait to try it. I think my high stress level is contributing to my poor sleeping habits, so I am really excited to check out your 50 simple stress management activities. I really want to check out the stress relief system eCourse too. I know I need to make some changes, now I feel like it is actually something I can do!

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Ariselli, Thanks for sharing. Insomnia is one key symptom of chronic stress. If you want better quality sleep you will have to deal with the source of your stress. Stress has a way of making us feel despondent and totally out of control. But there are things you can do. I hope you have downloaded my free report on 50 simple stress management activities. You will learn some easy strategies for managing stress. Choose 1 or 2 that you can implement rigght away. Just do it! 🙂

  2. Sheila Robbins says:

    Hi there Darlene. I have been avoiding going to the doctor. I had a close family member die a few months ago from a hereditary disease and I am so afraid that I have it! Worrying about whether I have it or not is haunting me, I am losing sleep, gaining weight, and am exhausted. When you put on this list to go to the doctor, it really hit home for me. I am just not even sure what would be worse – going and finding out that I have it, or continuing to worry about whether I do.

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Sheila, continually worrying about whether you have a hereditary disease is definitely MUCH worse than going to the doctor to find out one way or the other. Constant worry will make you sick and may trigger health problems worse than the one you are concerned about. There are only two options: 1) you have a hereditary disease 2) you do not. The only way to know is to get a medical opinion on the matter by seeing a doctor. If you have it, you will be able to cope with it and explore effective treatments. You will be able to help your children ( if you have any) to get timely screenings as well. If you don’t have it you can STOP worrying and start enjoying the life you do have with your family. Either way you win!

  3. Kae Wright says:

    Eating healthy is such a challenge for me! I always end up grabbing something quick on the go, or even worse, not eating at all. Do you have some good tips for eating well on the go? Eating better is definitely high on my list of New Year’s resolutions this year. I am also, I am embarrassed to admit, still a smoker. I have tried to quit several times, and I have whittled it down so that I am only having around two a day. I keep smoking because I know that it helps me keep my weight down and it is my go-to for stress. I know, I know how bad this is! I know I need to replace my bad habits with some good ones, it is just so hard to do! I am going to keep reading your blogs for some healthy ways to beat stress instead of reaching for that cigarette. Thanks for all of your encouragement Darlene, this will be the year I finally quit!

    1. Darlene Berkel says:

      Kae, eating healthy on the go simply requires planning. Preparing a healthy breakfast smoothie in the morning takes less than ten minutes ( including clean-up) and you are out the door with a glass of nutrition in your hand. For healthy snacks, pack an apple, a banana, or some almonds. For a healthy lunch, grab a salad. If you plan how you will eat healthy and what you will eat in advance, eating better will be much easier. And you are right…smoking NOT a good way of dealing with stress. There are much better, much healthier things you can do to beat stress instead of reaching for that cigarette. Download this FREE stress management pdf with 50 simple stress management activities. You will discover 50 healthy ways to fight stress that you can start using right away.

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