19 Aug 2014
82° Clear
Patch Instagram photo by tarynelmo
Patch Instagram photo by inabikari116

8 Ways to Beat Stress in 2013

Is your New Year's resolution to de-stress already stressing you out? Here are some tips to help you unwind.

8 Ways to Beat Stress in 2013

It's not even a week into the new year and are you already stressing out?

Dr. Megan Hood, a clinical psychologist with an expertise in stress management at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center, said trying to attain a more stress-free existence is a pretty popular goal around the holidays and the new year.

But staying away from stress is not as simple as making a New Year’s resolution. 

“That tends to be a common goal, a nice broad goal,” Hood said. “But it also tends to be challenging.”

Still, Hood has some tips to keep stress at bay.

  • Enjoy the moment. Don’t always rush ahead to the next thing, Hood cautions. Take a second to just enjoy the small things in life: a catchy song playing, a nice smell or something positive going on around you.
  • Plan ahead—when you can. Having plans and maintaining schedules is a good thing, but make your goals manageable and realistic, and don’t worry about anything out of your control, Hood says.
  • Be active. Plan an activity with your family that doesn’t involve vegging out on the couch, Hood advises. Take a walk on Clearwater Beach, jog on the Pinellas Trail or shed some calories at the gym. 
  • Have healthy snacks available. In accordance with your overall health, be sure to eat foods that are good for you, especially after splurging on holiday food. Maybe a grocery trip to Nature's Food Patch to replace the chocolate with carob.
  • Do something that makes you feel good. The holidays involve giving gifts to others, but don’t forget about yourself when they are over. Hood recommends participating in whatever brings a smile to your face, whatever you enjoy, especially social groups or activities. 
  • Volunteer at places like the Humane Society of Pinellas. Helping people helps us feel positive and better about ourselves, Hood says. 
  • Take deep, short breaths. Don’t underestimate the power of deep breathing. When you trick your body into relaxing, the mind and the thoughts follow, Hood explains.
  • Expect the best. Always be positive, Hood adds. If you intentionally expect good things and good results, you’ll probably get them.

      How do you de-stress? Are you resolving to stress less in 2013?

      Share This Article