We all experience stress. It’s a normal response to life’s changes and challenges. Stress responses can be physical or mental, but they’re all designed to help you avoid danger or work toward a goal. When too much stress has you feeling frazzled, it’s time to take a step back. The new year is an inspiring time to make gentle adjustments. Switch up your routine or change your mindset to help avoid common symptoms of stress. Sometimes it’s as simple as engaging in self-care or learning a new skill. The following ideas for relieving stress are sure to inspire you in the new year!
1. Indulge in Craft Chocolate
Feeling overwhelmed or unable to enjoy yourself? It’s time to unwind! Prioritize a moment alone. After all, everyone needs relaxation and quiet time. While you chill out, a delicious treat can help boost your mood. There are plenty of options, but we’re confident you’ll nourish your spirit with organic and vegan chocolates. Fudgy plant-based chocolate bars and baking chocolate make for a wholesome snack or the start of a delicious dessert.
Whether you’re into rich dark chocolate bars or creamy oat milk chocolate, vegan chocolate bars with ingredients like pure cacao and vegan toffee will have you feeling like a kid again. Even better, our favorite craft chocolates have a simple ingredient list and lower sugar than other chocolate options. Quality chocolate lets you consume it guilt-free while you read a book or relax on the couch. If you’re a baker, ingredients like cacao powder and roasted cacao nibs will immerse you in your recipes and ready to serve a scrumptious treat.
2. Meditate Daily
Now is an excellent time to begin a new habit! Those who are feeling stressed can try practicing meditation for a few minutes each day. There are many ways to meditate, including visualization and deep breathing practices. If you like to be active outdoors, you can engage in walking meditation. Find a practice that works for you and stick with it for a while. As you strengthen your “meditation muscle,” you can practice for longer.
Even just a few moments of daily meditation will offer stress-reducing benefits like increased concentration and less anxiety. Some people notice they have better self-awareness or feel more empathetic and kinder. Meditation allows you to create space between yourself and your day, making daily stressors more manageable. Try enhancing your practice with guided meditation sessions or nature sounds.
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3. Wake Up Earlier
Some of us experience stress because we don’t feel we have enough time. Our responsibilities or a tight schedule can lead to physical or emotional stress responses. It’s possible to experience anxiety or tight muscles while thinking about your to-do list or realizing you don’t have a moment to relax.
If you’re lacking personal time or can’t get everything done, consider waking up a few minutes earlier each day. A simple adjustment to your morning schedule can make it possible to engage in a morning meditation session or take a jog before the kids get up for school. Have a yoga session or read and respond to your personal emails.
If you’re having trouble getting motivated to wake up, find a way to reward yourself. Awake to an alarm featuring your favorite song instead of the tune of clanging bells. Buy yourself gourmet coffee and a beautiful ceramic mug to enjoy before breakfast. Leave yourself positive affirmations by your bathroom mirror or bedroom lamp. Extra time in the morning will clear your mind and set your priorities before the day begins. You may also find that you’re more energized when you start your day or go to work.
4. Spend More Time in Nature
Almost everyone could stand to spend more time in nature. Research shows that spending time outside offers hundreds of possible benefits to your well-being, including more calm and better breathing. When it comes to dealing with stress, getting back to nature helps to improve sleep and reduce depression. Resting better and feeling better emotionally means you’ll bounce back when experiencing daily stressors. Outdoor time can also contribute to better immune health and emotional wellness.
Interested in using nature experiences to reduce stress? Try hiking or paddle boarding. Swift and intentional movement in a beautiful natural environment will help you put your stressors aside. Leisure activities like water tubing and lake swimming can transport you to a more relaxed and playful world. Or burn some energy and relieve tension when you run or ride your bicycle.
5. Try Aromatherapy
Calming and relaxing aromatherapy scents can help to reduce stress and create a sense of peace. If you like the smell of essential oils, there are many ways to use aromatherapy in the comfort of your room or home. Some of our favorites include essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy candles. While they’re easy to use, they also provide a strong aroma. Other popular delivery options include diffuser necklaces and roll-on essential oils.
When it comes to reducing stress, some of our favorite essential oils for relaxation include earthy bergamot and soothing lavender. You may also enjoy floral jasmine or grassy vetiver. Ask your doctor if you have questions about using essential oils or the best aromatherapy for you.
Feeling Calm and Healthy in the New Year
While you can’t completely prevent stressors, you can take steps to make life’s challenges easier on the mind and body. Practice positive self-talk and be sure you’re engaging in healthy habits. It also helps to check in with yourself regularly and engage in self-care. Don’t forget to reward yourself for navigating your stress in a new and productive way. Have a delicious piece of dark chocolate or take a moment to yourself to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. When you prioritize yourself and set boundaries around your stressors, you will feel better inside and out.