Now that the holidays are over, and most people have returned to work, it is not uncommon for the day-to-day stresses of life to begin creeping back in. Whether your stress stems from looming deadlines, the need to put your house back together after the holidays, a lack of sleep, a new diet, pressing financial obligations or the struggle of keeping your New Year’s resolutions, knowing how to deal with such stressors is key. Too much stress can have an unhealthy influence on your life, happiness and overall well-being. Fortunately, there are natural, biofriendly ways to relieve stress.
Indoor plants: Indoor plants offer an extremely efficient and natural way to lower indoor air pollution levels. As a plant absorbs harmful gases and toxins, it also produces oxygen. Plants have the ability to act as natural air purifiers, thus allowing you and your family to breathe a little easier. Plants add a touch of beauty and nature into any home, as well. Bringing in a little bit of the outdoors can help relieve tension, improve your overall mood and lower stress levels. Making DIY natural air fresheners, cooking and baking are other ways to lift your mood and, in some cases, combat depression.
Bring in the fresh air: Most people close up their homes during the winter months to keep the cold, freezing temperatures out and the heat in. The only problem with this is keeping your home closed up can increase indoor air pollution levels. A toxic, stuffy home can make you feel listless or ill. It can also have a negative impact on your mood. Even opening your windows for a little bit each day can help you breathe easier and lighten your mood. Fresh air (and the oxygen it contains) can also give you a burst of energy. With all of those benefits, you will be much more equipped to address or eliminate any stress you may be feeling.
Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods: Eating fresh and organic foods, while doing your best to avoid processed, GMO or pre-packaged foods, can do wonders for a person’s health and longevity. Nobody needs the chemicals, fillers, additives and toxins that are often found in processed, pre-packaged foods. In addition, a study found that common food packaging is riddled with toxic chemicals. By eliminating these toxins from your daily diet, you may experience an improved hormonal-balance, as well as be in a better mood and feel less physical (and mental) stress overall.
Grow you own food: One of the simplest ways to eat fresh, organic food is to grow your own. Gardening is also an incredibly good stress reliever. Whether your local temperatures will allow you to tend to an outdoor garden or the weather requires you do a little winter gardening indoors, taking the time to plant and tend to your garden is great way to clear your mind. With your mind clear, you will probably find it easier to figure out ways to eliminate unnecessary stress in your life. A healthy diet won’t hurt either.
Go for a walk: Getting out in nature is a wonderful way to alleviate stress. The beauty, fresh air and open space can sometimes seem to simply melt away a person’s problems. Exercising in cold temperatures can help stimulate your body, cause it to produce more endorphins and leave you feeling more optimistic overall. At the very least, a nature walk or run may be able to help clear your mind and could even give you a new perspective on a real-life situation you are having to face.
Stay connected with good friends: One of the things many people do over the holidays is reconnect with family and friends. The unfortunate thing is we don’t always stay connected with those friends and loved ones once the holidays have passed. Having friends can relieve stress and help you cope with current life situations. Just having someone to vent or talk to can often make dealing with stress much more doable. Even if you don’t want or need advice on how to deal with your stress, being able to talk, get your mind off your own troubles and simply relax and enjoy each other’s company can do a lot for your health and stress levels.
Take time for yourself: Often, one of the most important stress reducers of all is taking time for yourself. No matter how busy your work or personal schedule become, you need to take time for YOU. Whether it is to read a book, watch a movie, go for a hike, take a bath or enjoy an in-home spa treatment, taking time for yourself is a wonderful way to relax and gain a new perspective on life.
Adapting these biofriendly stress relief methods as a part of your normal routine is a great way to start your year off right!