Still Feeling the Blues After Blue Monday? Here’s How To Reduce Stress
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Do you have a case of Blue Mondays?
In the weeks following Blue Monday, people across the globe are searching for ways to reduce stress.
It’s the most depressing day of the year: Monday, January 16th. Why so depressing? This Monday falls in the wake of a parade of holiday celebrations, culminating in New Year’s. While this time of year may cause additional stress and low points for regular people everywhere, you can use some tips and tricks to stay happy this January.
It’s Giving Dry January
Amidst pledges for Dry January (a month-long abstention from drinking), renewed workout regimens, and a thoughtful commitment to mindfulness, more people than ever before are reeling from the adverse effects of Blue Monday. While we are well past the holiday season, the impact remains, and people want solutions to this latest case of the blues.
New data shows that searches for “how to stop stress” increased an unprecedented 920% mere hours into Blue Monday.
Sure, many people love the Holidays: the plethora of Hallmark movies, seeing friends, family, and loved ones, and exchanging holiday cheer, but does it really lead to a spike in stress levels?
Other factors that may contribute to rising stress levels across the international landscape include the cost-of-living crisis, which weighs heavily on the shoulders of many. Additionally, temperatures are dropping, food prices are skyrocketing, and it can seem like there’s no end in sight.
Luckily, stress-free days are on the horizon.
What Can We Do To Stop The Stress?
People are looking for answers. Searches for “reduce stress” increased 216% last month. This staggering number only shows how desperate people are to find solutions for these intrusive and sometimes crippling feelings of overwhelming stress.
Meanwhile, searches for “is stress normal” spiked by 635%. So… is stress normal? Yes, and it happens to everyone. Not surprisingly: it happens to more Americans. Americans experience stress levels 20% higher than the global average.
Chronic stress is common at work, with 94% of Americans feeling stress. 55% of Americans report experiencing stress throughout the workday, according to data compiled by the American Institute of Stress. 63% of the workforce say they are ready to quit their jobs to avoid workplace-related stress.
While many of us live busy, overextended lives in an increasingly digital world, it can be challenging to devote ample time to stress reduction. CBD experts at Simply CBD have uncovered some tips to help you live your best life.
You Should Care About Self-Care
Practicing mindfulness is one key component to focus on self-care, which can reduce stress and anxiety. Self-care can take many forms, such as maintaining a balanced diet and sustaining a healthy sleep schedule.
Know what also helps? Pampering yourself. No, really.
Pampering, though often overlooked, can be a great way to practice mindfulness, and it doesn’t have to break the bank with an expensive spa day. Instead, pampering can look like taking a hot bath or shower, popping on a face mask, reading your favorite book (avoid that pesky blue light), lighting candles, listening to a meditation podcast, and treating yourself to your go-to home-cooked meal (yes, UberEats counts).
Simple Solutions: Try Exercise and Music
Not everyone loves the gym. It’s normal to want to avoid exercise. For some, the thought of exercise can be exhausting before you even stop by Planet Fitness or hop on the Peloton. The workday can feel tiring enough, and that’s before even factoring in a stressful commute. But if you can find time to squeeze in a productive workout, the result could be a significant decrease in pent-up stress.
Sometimes all that’s needed is getting past the mental barrier of partaking in physical activity. But once you break through that invisible wall, you can get to the good stuff and start releasing tension and endorphins, also known as the body’s natural painkillers.
Exercise can look different for everyone. The important thing is to get your body moving. Some ways to fit in an hour of increased heart rate include walking, participating in a local exercise class, or signing up for an online course.
Similarly, listening to music can give your brain a much-needed intellectual workout, and we all know how vital brain health is to our long-term well-being. Listening to music has many important benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improving memory, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep quality.
Hobbies Over Social Media: Can You Do It?
For some, hobbies are a relic of childhood playtime, but they don’t have to be. Hobbies offer several benefits, including stress reduction. By dusting off some old hobbies you may have left on the back burner, you permit your body room to remind itself of something you once enjoyed. These little distractions can be one easy way to take time away from the stresses of everyday life.
Don’t have a hobby at the ready? No problem. It’s never too late. Start by making a list of all the hobbies you would love to try, and before you know it, you’ll be expanding your knowledge, widening your range of skills, and keeping your brain active.
Once you pick a hobby, spending less time doom scrolling on social media is more manageable. Just because we live in a world where everything is at the push of a button doesn’t mean we need to constantly push that button. Too much social media can leave people feeling exhausted, triggered, and more stressed out than before they opened whichever app happens to be in fashion that month.
Shutting out the constant updates and notifications will make it that much easier to reconnect with yourself, practice mindfulness, and reduce stress naturally.
The world may continue to be stressful, but you can always find ways to handle it.