4 Tried and True Ways to Keep Your Stress Level Low Next Year
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, young adults ages 18 to 25 in the U.S have the highest rate of experiencing any mental health concerns (30.6%) and the highest rate of serious mental illness (9.7%), compared to adults ages 26 to 49. For both age groups, stress has proved to be a factor in the decline of mental health. According to the Mental Health Foundation,
- 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious
- Of the people who said they felt stressed at some point in their lives, 16% had self-harmed, and 32% said they had had suicidal thoughts and feelings
- 37% of adults who reported feeling stressed reported feeling lonely as a result
As we head into a new year, it's imperative that you learn practical ways to keep your stress level low.
Here are 4 tried and true ways that can help you:
1. Prioritize daily wellness activities.
As we continue to try to combat various crises such as mental illness, homelessness, genocide, unemployment, lack of healthcare and more, having low stress can feel impossible. However, it is important to understand that you are no good to anyone if you are no good to yourself; in other words, you cannot pour from a cup that is empty nor can you drink from one. The good news is that there are practical things you can do daily that will replenish your mind, body and spirit. Journaling, exercising, stretching, and meditation are all tried and true wellness activities that you can make a part of your routine.
2. Prioritize a yearly wellness activity.
A yearly wellness activity is something you do once a year; think retreat, vacation, conference, etc. Each year, I take off for my birthday month, which also happens to be National Stress Awareness Month! I choose a "safe for women/solo traveler" country that I've always wanted to visit and live there for 30 whole days. Before you start thinking about finances and writing this off, travel can be very affordable if you plan correctly. As a New Yorker, it's actually been cheaper to live outside of America for a month than it is to stay home! Whether it's one week or one month, prioritizing time for you to reset and recharge will help keep your stress level low.
3. Read a book for a minimum of 6 minutes a day.
Did you know reading for 6 minutes a day can reduce your stress by 68% percent? Yeah, that statistic blew my mind, too! That's why I share it everywhere I go. 6 minutes a day is only about 3 pages; you don't even have to read an entire chapter to relax your mind! If you want to reduce your stress even more, grab a self-care book bag. It comes with the book AND self-care activities.
4. Join a community that focuses on wellness.
Very seldom does healing happen in isolation. Community is one of the most important things when it comes to improving one's mental health. When trying to achieve wellness, you'll need support, love, accountability partners, and people who understand what you're going through. Whether you join us at The Wellness Book Fair in January or sign up for The Wellness Workshop, we'll be there rooting for you on your journey to holistic health.
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