Can we all agree on one thing? 2016 has been the longest year we’ve had in ages.
From the controversial political season we all experienced, to mass shootings and violence, to the Zika virus outbreak to devastating weather… Even many of our favorite celebrities died, include Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Natalie Cole, and Harper Lee. I could go on, but you get the idea.
I’m sure you’d agree — this year has just been too long. If you’re like me, there’s a good chance this year has left you with some stress you’d be happy to leave behind as we enter 2017. With that in mind, let’s take a short departure from our typical career-only-focused newsletter.
There are a few things you can do between now and January 1st to reduce stress, and prepare you for a successful New Year. As you know, I don’t typically talk about these topics in my newsletter, but these are a few of my personal tips for reducing my stress and increasing my performance. Not only do they help in my every day life, but they help in my career. And, I hope they’ll help you too!
Eat Right & Eat Breakfast – One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to eat nutritious food. Try to reduce processed foods, sweets, and anything fried. Reach for vegetables when you can, and include enough protein. And especially, don’t miss breakfast! I prefer to eat something high in protein, but even cereal will work. Don’t neglect yourself first thing in the morning.
Drink Enough Water – Having enough water (and staying hydrated) directly impacts how you feel. Take the time to get your eight cups a day in. Try to keep things like soda, beer, and wine in moderation when you’re feeling stressed.
Sleep – Get more! It’s amazing how much better I feel after sleeping eight hours, and I bet you do too. If there’s any way you can cut back on other activities to make room for rest, you will thank yourself.
Yoga – If you’ve never tried it, this may sound a little strange. But, yoga really can help to reduce your feelings of stress. It’s a combination of stretching, thoughtful breathing, and a core workout (to name just a few components). Although yoga is often thought to be a women’s activity, it can be just as beneficial if not more so for men.
Workout – Get moving! Whether you prefer to run, lift weights, or do Pilates — do your thing! The winter months are not the time to put your workout routine on the back burner. Working out will help you to eliminate stress, and reduce the chances you will get sick.
There are so many ways to reduce stress. In addition to the suggestions above, you may like spending time with friends, writing, going to the driving range, or cooking. Whatever makes you feel less stressed is where you should spend your time.
Reducing stress (especially during a high stress time like the holidays) can be crucial to staying focused at work, and in your career. To start 2017 off on a better foot, take a little time now to take care of yourself. Together, we can leave this year behind and start fresh!