LAMFT at Grow Counseling
BY: Laura Lebovitz
Spring is right around the corner! Warmer weather brings desires to simplify life and shed the extra bulk collected during the cold winter months. This is a popular time of year for making goals to lose weight, exercise more, and have a more organized house. Many people set these goals but forget to set a goal to address the most common problem of all—stress! We all have heard by now that excess stress comes with a variety of negative health consequences, but sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to get rid of it.
Here are five simple ways to “spring clean” stress for a simpler spring:
Breathe! It is so easy for us all to get caught up in our busy daily schedules. Moving hectically from one activity to another can lead to high amounts of stress. Make a new routine of incorporating small breaks into your regular schedule and watch the difference it creates in you. Set aside five minutes to sit, breathe, and focus on yourself.
Find time to connect with others! Take a step away from any electronics and spend time with your loved ones. Seeing someone you love can reduce cortisol levels (aka the stress hormone) almost instantly. Try out a new dinner recipe with family or friends. Play a new game! Go on a family hike.
Find a supportive person! Some people think that if you ignore stress that it will go away. Nothing could be further from the truth. Talking about stress can make it feel less overwhelming. Find a friend, family member, or a therapist to talk to about your stress. It may surprise you how quickly you feel better after talking.
Spring clean your schedule just like you would your house! Look at your schedule to see what is fulfilling and what causes more stress. We throw away what we no longer need around the house, so why should we keep items on our schedule that are not useful anymore? Talk with your family and prioritize the activities that are enjoyable.
Make “you time!” Treat yourself with the love and care you show others. Take that exercise class you have always wanted to take. Eat a favorite dessert. Go outside and breathe that beautiful spring air. Read a book. Laugh. Taking good care of yourself helps you to take better care of the loved ones around you.