Like a lot people at the end of every year, I make a list of New Year’s Resolutions. This is something I look forward to every year and usually with great enthusiasm. Usually, this involves a lot of cutting and pasting from the previous year: Talk on the phone instead of text, read more, workout more, learn to cook, lose five pounds…the usual.
There’s always some odds and ends in there, like be more organized or learn how to do a smokey-eye. But this year, I’m adding the most important one of all. And quite honestly, if I accomplish nothing else on my list other than this, I’m ahead of the game.
My #1 New Year’s Resolution is to reduce my stress level. Now I know none of our lives are without stress and certainly life isn’t always easy, but I need to do this before it affects my health. It’s not uncommon for stress and anxiety levels to go up as we grow into midlife and beyond, and I am no exception.
I’ve always been a little anxious, but it has grown worse over the years. And why wouldn’t it? Just turn on the news and read the newspaper!
Lena Horne’s wise comment “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it,” speaks volumes.
I don’t sleep as well as I used to. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and worry about everything until I will myself back to sleep. If something bothers me I have to work it through in my mind – over and over and over – until it makes sense or I am willing to accept the truth.
Occasionally, I’ll get myself in such a tizzy the room starts spinning, but that’s only because I forget to breathe. Learning to roll with whatever comes my way and not get flustered are my goals. I am hoping age will do it’s part and mellow me a little.
Being tightly wound and a born worrier, this change isn’t going to be easy. I’m sure my caffeine consumption during the day isn’t helping matters either. Though I have heard that chocolate is good for self-soothing and I’m sticking with that.
Finding ways to relax and refocus my thoughts are key. Spending more time in nature, listening to music, reading good books, and exercising longer and harder are steps in the right direction. What do you do to de-stress?
What’s your #1 New Year’s Resolution?
Lois Alter Mark says
I don’t think NaBloPoMo is helping any of our stress levels! I de-stress on Pinterest. You can always tell I’m overwhelmed when you see me pinning a lot in a short period of time. It honestly relaxes me to just look at pretty pictures for a while – which is why I’ll never seriously use Pinterest for business!
Heidi Sloss says
Yoga! It definitely helps me handle my stress much better.
Your Moderate Mama says
Oh the load… it’s enough to break my back!!
I love the idea of HOW we carry the load…
if I focus on the people I’m doing the things in my load for and not the actual things… then the load seems worth my time… a way to show my love and little bit lighter!!
Coffee, girls nights and time alone with my husband help too 😉
I write to “de-stress”. It doesn’t always work so well during NaBloPoMo, though, I’ll give you that. LOL!
How did it go for you this year, though? Do you feel less stressed? Any insights?
Ruth Curran says
I am so with you on the waking up in the middle of the night thing – that circular thinking that happens at 2 AM is so counter productive and so tough on quality of life. Great thing to resolve to work on! Here’s to more peaceful sleep.
Elin Stebbins Waldal says
Great post Linda! I wrote one a while back called, Dear fear I am breaking up with you, it sounds as if we have a few things in common–the worry thing. I have found that committing to address my worries has actually reduced them and as a result, some of the stress too. Now when my anxiety kicks in I think about how I committed to working on it and simply ask if I have real control over what I am fixating on, most of the time the answer is no. That makes it pretty simple, focus on that which I DO have control over. Loved this and wish you luck!
Roz Warren says
If you haven’t got a good massage therapist, get one. Best stress reducer EVER.
Heidi Sloss says
Yoga really helps my stress levels. It works i so many ways. It actually lowers my stress just by doing it AND it helps me deal with new stress by remembering that I can get through, just as I got through a difficult pose.
Karen D. Austin says
The gym works for me as well as reading zen buddhist meditations — and saying “no” to thing I really don’t want to do.
Laura Ann Klein says
This year I went very simple with my resolution and I achieved it. Joy. I’m working on 2015’s one word resolution.
Cathy Chester says
I try to find the same balance to help me worry less and LIVE more. It’s not always easy but so worth working on it. To me, nature is always the answer! Finding quiet time outdoors is the best!
Ines Roe says
What a wonderful post and fantastic new year’s resolution. Reducing stress and including self care are critical elements of health. There are many good resources to work with worry and anxiety. Learning to relax is a wonderful way to find balance and not let life’s worries dominate your life
Carol Cassara says
I love that you are thinking ahead. I find resolutions are things I break. I am just willful!
Mindy Klapper Trotta says
I’m with you, Linda. Stress can kill you, and it does seem to get worse as we age. It’s definitely something I have to consciously work on.
Haralee Weintraub says
I hate to admit that I am stressed because I live a great life but I have been having some physical aches and pains that I self diagnosed as stress related and not admitting I was stressed was causing me stress! Yes top of my list for 2015 New Year’s resolution.
Mary Buchan says
I used to work full time and now work part time. This has helped the quality of my life in ways I never expected. I am currently learning about mindfulness meditation. My stress thermometer is lower than ever.
Lisa Carpenter says
Fast-paced walks with my dogs save my sanity. If not walking, hanging out outside helps. As does music, books… and visualization. Great reminders, my fellow Cancerian.
Suzanne Simone Stavert says
Its great to plan ahead. I want to live in the moment more. I honestly think that I want to just soak up every single day and take what I can from each one.
Good goal to have. I’ve always been one not to worry too much so this is easy. I don’t worry about what I cannot control. I find things to do that I enjoy when I can. I stay away from stressful people too!