If one of your New Year's resolutions is to not stress, the characteristically quiet weeks of January are a good time to start working on a few habits that will help you manage this when things become more hectic. Here are five habits to learn now so you can beat stress when it starts to creep up on you.
- Streamline your morning: If you normally start the day behind, devote some time to learn how to make getting ready in the morning a quick and painless affair. Pack your work, lunch, and gym bags the night before so you're not frantically packing in the morning, and start training yourself to stop relying on the snooze button. And when you wake up, think of something positive — it helps to begin a busy day on the right foot. Read more tips on having a stress-free morning here.
- Schedule tasks: If you're feeling overwhelmed when it comes to your to-do list, schedule them out on your calendar. That way you can group them in a way that makes sense, tackle a few during your lunch break, or postpone them until the weekend when you have more time. Seeing them scheduled throughout your week can make your tasks seem less daunting, which can help reduce stress.
- Make time for fun: It can be hard to synch up with friends and family, especially when there's so much to do, but hanging out doesn't have to take up a lot of time. Schedule a lunch with a friend who works close by, or block some time on the weekend for a friend you haven't seen in awhile. Enjoying social time with friends and family reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol to make you more productive overall.
Read on for the rest of the list.
- Let go with yoga: You don't have to devote 90 minutes to a studio yoga class to reap the exercise's benefits. This relaxing, beginner-friendly yoga sequence will help you let go of tension and stress.
- Relax before bed: Wine and TV may help you relax for a little bit, but too much tuning in to your electronics and alcohol can disrupt your sleep — leading to a stressed morning the day after. Turn off your electronics, relax with herbal tea or a book, and quiet your mind to de-stress before you go to sleep.