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7 tips for handling and reducing stress in the new year

January 11, 2024 | 2 min read

As the new year begins, it’s the perfect time to update your approach, start fresh, and, unfortunately, find new ways to increase your stress. You read that right. For many people, the pressure to overhaul how they do everything can lead to higher levels of stress and anxiety. There’s a better way. Instead of crafting grand resolutions that leave you feeling inadequate, consider smart reflections that keep you energized. Here are 7 tips to help you live your best life—no matter what time of year it is.

  1. Reflect and connect: Instead of writing a long list of ways you want to change, take a moment to consider what you’ve experienced, learned, and are grateful for. This shift in perspective can highlight the importance of quality time with loved ones, which is a great stress reliever.

  2. Make a plan: Evaluate your accomplishments and challenges from last year. An honest assessment will help you find areas for growth. Then, set achievable and measurable goals, while giving yourself grace. And remember to celebrate your progress, no matter how small.

  3. Be realistic: Don’t aim for perfection. Remember that what you see on social media are cherry-picked moments filled with enhancements. Set realistic expectations that focus on your own progress and understand that if things don’t go as planned, that's okay.

  4. Simplify: While you may want to tackle many new tasks and hobbies, you can’t do everything. Be intentional about where you place your energy. This allows you to focus on and make progress in a few areas that truly matter to you, without adding unnecessary stress.

  5. Practice mindfulness: As you plan for positive change, be sure to prioritize your well-being. That means getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercising. A mindfulness practice—such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga—is also a great way to reduce stress and calm your mind.

  6. Budget wisely: Now that the holiday season has passed, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate your budget. As you plan for the new year, set a spending limit for your expenses and stick to it. This can help you regain financial stability and the peace of mind that comes with it.

  7. Create boundaries: Whether it’s work or personal, don’t overcommit yourself. Learn to say no and share responsibilities. Remember, you don’t have to do everything alone. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone. Sometimes, expressing your feelings can be a big relief.

As you think about how you want to approach the new year, always remember that it’s perfectly acceptable to prioritize your mental well-being. In fact, that may be the most important change you make all year. Learn how you can enhance your mental health with brief moments of mindfulness.

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