Reducing stress may be at the top of your list for 2021. You were in for a big surprise in 2020. You never would of expected to have a pandemic, and it still isn’t over.
Reduce stress in 2021
Although, now that the vaccination is out it does feel more hopeful. But, we will probably have to wait that one out and see how it goes. You can still create hope for yourself in the new year.
Make sure to keep in touch with friends and family. See what they are doing to remain positive and hopeful. This will also help keep you connected socially. As human being we need one another. This is nothing to feel bad about.
This is still a stressful time. It’s important to take care of your nervous system and give yourself plenty of breaks when you need them. This will prevent you from feeling flooded, panicked and overwhelmed.
You are not a robot. This means you can’t keep going unless you take care of yourself. You shouldn’t be around people that expect you to keep going all the time. It’s important to be around people that respect your boundaries.
Here are 7 tips that will help you reduce stress and get ready for 2021:
- Keep things simple. You are led to believe that in order to get ahead, you must suffer. This is an old belief. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you want to get ahead, then you will have to sweat a little bit. But, not at the expense of yourself and loved ones. If you can’t afford a new car, then buy a used one. Don’t worry about what others will think. What matters is, you won’t be stressed out and feel depressed.
- Stop beating yourself up with negative self talk. This is something we have all done and it really is a waste of time. You tell yourself things that aren’t true. Maybe these are things you heard growing up, or that were shouted at you in a prior relationship. Replace each negative thought with a positive thought. It can be as simple as, “Today will be a fresh start.”
- Rest your mind. Set aside 10 minutes a day to breathe and close your eyes. I know you feel that is too much time. But, it really isn’t. Make sure you clear your mind. If thoughts come up don’t judge them, just let them be. Now, I know you’re thinking that is a waste of time. That’s because you have trained your brain to think that way. Start retraining your brain today, by letting it rest.
- Get moving. Studies have shown that walking a minimum of 35 minutes a day has helped reduce depression symptoms. This is in people that have mild to moderate symptoms of depression. You can exercise inside or outside. Try a workout that will challenge you and get your heart rate up. I like to start the day with exercise. When I do I am much more focused, and in a really good mood.
- Don’t isolate yourself. When you are feeling depressed you may feel more irritable. This may make you feel like you don’t want to be around people. You may even hear voices that are telling you to stay in. This is actually the best time to be around friends and family. Even if you feel like you might not know anybody. Just being in a positive social atmosphere can help lighten your spirits. Pull yourself up by the boot straps and make yourself go out. You’ll be glad that you did.
- Get outside and soak in the rays. You need natural sunlight, AKA, Vitamin D. A minimum of 20 minutes a day is best. If you can sit by a window during the day. You also need to get outside. If you can, go for a 20 minute walk. If you live in a place where it is too cold to get outside during the day, then invest in light bulbs that are natural light rather than fluorescent light.
- Turn it over to God. When it feels like nobody else cares, it’s good to know that God cares. You aren’t meant to be perfect. This is an unreal expectation to have of yourself. You also, shouldn’t hang around with people that expect perfection from you all the time. The next time you are feeling stressed out, say a prayer. Ask God, what would He do? Then, just sit there and breathe.
Begin to make a list of what helps reduce stress in your life. Write down how you feel after completing one of these activities. You can also try some of your own ideas.
You will begin to trust yourself. This will help you feel better. It will also help you listen to your inner voice.
Remember you don’t have to go through this alone. Reach out to a therapist, coach, friend or family member.
If you liked this article, there are more in Reducing Stress. It is filled with tips that will help you feel refreshed and confident.
Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping people in San Mateo, CA who are looking to create a life that is happier and more fulfilling. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.