We come to the 5th habit in our New Year New You Series – choose one de-stressing thing you enjoy doing every day.
Stress is one of the leading causes of chronic disease and illness in this country. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that we can take the necessary steps to reduce the amount of stress we experience each day.
This takes a little forethought and planning.
Perhaps you’ve forgotten what you enjoy doing!
Take some time to reflect on the things that bring you joy and create a list – I’ve heard it called a “Joy List” and I love that! Create two columns and label the first column “Free” and the second column with a “$” sign. Then, write down everything you can think of that makes you happy, whether it’s free or cost money, and separate them into these two columns. It could be things like:
- Taking a bubble bath
- Reading in a good book for 20 minutes
- Getting a massage
- Flipping through the pages of your favorite magazine
- Drinking a hot cup of tea while listening to quiet music
- Getting your nails done
Whatever it is, write it down. Having the two columns will help you determine when to schedule a de-stressor that costs money and when to stick with the ones that are free. You’ll know you’ll need to “splurge” a little if it’s a particularly stressful time in your life (for instance, paying to get a massage can do wonders for your stress levels and health!).
Keep this list handy and make sure to schedule something from it each day, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes.
Now, some of you may argue that this exercise seems selfish or that you don’t have the time to de-stress everyday. I would argue that you don’t have the time not to! You can’t give to others or experience vibrant health if your cup isn’t full and you’re running on empty. When I try to give from an empty cup, I become an irritable and tired wife, mommy, and friend – and nobody benefits from that! But when I take the time to schedule even “little joys” into my day, I find that I’m more productive, more helpful to others, and more joyful in my overall outlook.
If you make a habit of de-stressing, I guarantee you will start to experience greater health and happiness in your life. Again, this doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, or expensive (that would just add more stress!). Like any other habit, you just need to be consistent with it to reap the rewards. So, think about what you love to do, and start making time to do it! The simple act of writing it down in your calendar and looking forward to it each day will boost your joy levels and decrease your stress. Try it and see!
If you need help getting started on your list, check out my post 10 Ways to Instantly Boost Your Mood for some helpful ideas.
And make sure to subscribe below so you can download the companion printable Ebook for our series. It includes a printable Joy List!
Also, make sure you check out the other posts in our New Year New You Series:
What’s your favorite way to de-stress? I’d love to hear!