Heading back to work after the holiday season can be stressful. Finances are often tight after the holidays, the flu starts to go around, and the temperatures seem to get worse and worse. If you’re struggling to get back into the swing of things when it comes to dealing with stress, you’re not alone. Here are a few healthy, stress-busting tips you can use to manage your emotions this back-to-work and back-to-school season!
While it can be tempting in the morning to reach for that cup of coffee, that cigarette, or to unwind with some alcohol, don’t do it. Caffeine and nicotine, both stimulants, can increase your stress levels over the long term rather than reducing them. That afternoon drink, while a depressant in large quantities, can be stimulating over low amounts. Instead of reaching for coffee or alcohol, consider instead reaching for a lightly caffeinated tea, like an herbal tea, to quench those cravings instead. For smokers, try quitting this new year as your New Year’s resolution!
Catch Those ZZZs
Not getting enough sleep can be a pretty significant source of stress. While it’s easy enough to reach for those melatonin tablets, getting nice and relaxed before you head to sleep is ideal. Getting the recommended amount of sleep for your age group every night can be part of a healthy stress management program. Have problems heading to bed at night because of whirlwind thoughts? Consider journaling, meditation, or other similar practices. If you have repeated unwanted thoughts, reach out to a mental health professional.
Reach Out to Friends
Just talking through your problems with a close friend or family member can be a stress reliever! Inviting a close friend over for dinner or out to lunch can be a great way to take your mind off of things for a little bit. If you feel you need a little bit of professional help, there is bound to be a therapist in your area. If there isn’t one convenient to you, try therapy offered through an online service. There’s bound to be someone who can help you work through your stressful situation!
Take Time to Reframe
Taking the time to sit down, write a to-do list, and think about your priorities can bring some clarity in a stressful situation. Even just seeing all of the things you have to do, written out and in an organized fashion, can be helpful. If you need some help getting started, there are some guides online on different time management and a list generating processes. Finding one that you can stick to can be a great way to work through your stress and help eliminate stresses in the future!
Learning when to say “no” to projects, responsibilities, and tasks can also be a helpful way to reduce your future stress. Helping people out can be great, but you need to take care of yourself as well! Keeping yourself healthy and not stressed out and spread thinly on projects is the best way to help the people close to you.
Try Meditation and Stress Management Practices
Mantras, meditation, and medication: whatever outside help you need to reduce your stress, go for it! Mantras, or short positive phrases that you repeat to yourself, can be an excellent tool for busting stress and boosting your self-esteem. Meditation apps and guides exist if you need help getting grounded on your own. If you have a diagnosis and take medication to manage anxiety, consistently taking your medication can help manage your stress.