Jul 28, 2014

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

2013 will bring lots of New Year's resolutions, and the stress of keeping them up along with it.  

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 Eve wish.

“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. Go to Dellinger Park and do the vita course or visit other Cartersville parks, trails or gyms for a variety of activities. 
  • 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.
  • 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. A ministry, Steps of Faith is one dance studio in Cartersville that offers dance classes for adults and children. Booth Western Art Museum's Art Academy has art courses for adults and kids and Etowah Valley Yoga offers a variety of classes focused on wellness and healing.
  • Volunteer. Helping people helps us feel positive and better about ourselves, Hood says. Volunteer opportunities in Cartersville include donating your time and efforts for Advocates for Bartow's Children, Etowah Valley Humane Society, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, The Salvation Army and numerous other local charitable and civic organizations.
  • 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.

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

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