Medical Advice

The New Year Is a Great Time to De-Stress

Just like tomorrow is a new day, 2023 is a new year. Each new year, many of us make resolutions in an effort to improve our lives. The Florida Department of Health in Polk County wants to encourage you to live your best life by changing how you manage stress. 

Why Is Stress Bad?

Stress is a normal part of life. It’s the body’s response to perceived threats or dangers. However, if you get stressed out often, the stress response becomes constant. Chronic stress can be harmful to your health and your wellbeing. Symptoms of chronic stress include anxiety, depression, headaches, irritability, and an inability to sleep. Chronic stress can also increase the risk for diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. If this sounds familiar, it’s not just you. According to the CDC, more than 32% of adults in the United States reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression in late 2022.

Reduce Stress For A Healthier You!

We want to give some tips so that you rule your stress instead of the other way around. The cornerstones of stress reduction are sleep management, a better diet, regular exercise, and self-care.

  • Get better sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep every day. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time. Sleep helps bodies recharge.
  • Eat healthier. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low or no-fat dairy. Reduce unhealthy fats, sugars, salt, and caffeine. 
  • Exercise regularly. Stay active everyday, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Exercise can relieve emotional and physical tension. If you need immediate stress relief, try walking briskly for a few minutes or even just running in place for 30 seconds. A quick burst of physical activity can help get your mood up and relieve some of your stress. 
  • Practice relaxation. If you find yourself overwhelmed during the day, take a deep breath in and out for several minutes and decompress from whatever is bothering you. 
  • Connect with others. Reach out to someone you trust and talk through your feelings.  
  • Avoid poor habits. If excessive use of alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine is making your anxiety and consequently your stress worse, you might need to cut back or quit. If spending too much time on social media becomes a stressor, cutting back on screen time might help.  
  • Manage your time. Some stressors can’t be avoided but some can. Prioritize the most important tasks on your to-do lists and do them one step at a time. Cut out tasks that aren’t important. 
  • Do mental self-care. Talk to yourself in a positive manner whenever negative thoughts become intrusive. Be kinder to yourself. 

Practicing some of these strategies in the new year will be helpful for your overall well-being. Try these tactics to see what works best for you. If your stress is still unmanageable, consider talking to your doctor for help coping.

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