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New Year, New Goals; Tools To Fight Off Anxiety-Induced Tension

It’s that time of year again where we often set goals and intentions for the year- and that’s great! However, change often doesn’t happen overnight, and there can be a lot of stress around achieving those goals. When we are stressed, it causes a variety of other issues; headache, sore back, poor sleep, to name a few.

I am here to offer 6 tips and tricks to fight off stress so you can continue to conquer your goals. These are simple, yet very effective!

  1. RELAXATION RITUAL. Find a place in or near your home where you can go to relax. Set aside at least 10 minutes of your day for this ritual, more if you have time. Preferably, have this time set aside around the same time every day. This could be anything from lighting a candle and setting an intention, to enjoying your favorite cup of tea. It has been proven that just the thought of relaxing effects the body and mind, which is why creating a DAILY ritual is key!

  2. MEDITATION. If you can sit quietly and meditate, then great! You might be able to combine the above tip with this one. Meditation is different for everyone- for me personally, I have found that I need to be hiking to meditate. I count deep breaths in and out, matching them with my steps. Or perhaps you prefer to meditate while taking a shower/bath. The important thing to remember is that it needs to be right for you- otherwise you will have a very hard time getting into habit! An easy self-reminder to practice meditation is to stick a sticky note with a short message (about meditation) and stick it somewhere you pass by often.

  3. CREATE RELAXING PLAYLISTS and radio stations on Spotify/Pandora/YouTube, whichever music source you use. Find some down time and search through your music, discover new tunes, and fill those playlists until they are overflowing! Preferably, find music that is generally less than 60bpm- that is to say, songs that do not make your heart beat quicker! This way when you are feeling out of sorts you have pre-selected music to throw on, to help calm and reset. I like to find new artists and save them for when I am feeling anxious. Focusing my mind on new information/music can help ground me. I dive into new songs, focusing intently on the words and music.

  4. RE-ASSESS YOUR BOUNDARIES. It is never a bad time to sit down with yourself and ask some important questions. What are your boundaries in relationships- family, work, personal? Are there any areas where you feel like your boundaries have been crossed? Re-affirming and strengthening your personal boundaries will protect you from lots of unnecessary stress, both physically and mentally. I prefer to draw tarot cards and reflect in journaling- of course however there are many ways to assess your own personal boundaries. Once you have reflected, check in on those boundaries every so often. When negative emotions start to rise in your life, try to reflect on where/if any boundaries were crossed. Keeping in check with personal boundaries, and over time you will see improvement in communication with both you and others!

  5. CREATE TO-DO LISTS. This is SO simple and yet so effective! The important part to remember about this tip, is that you need to add EASY check-offs to your list! That’s right! For every 3 harder/more important items on your list, throw in one fun/easy tasks. This helps so much when anxiety kicks in about not getting enough done. Another helpful thing is to think of a few easy things you have already done, add them to the list, and immediately check them off! It feels really good to get the list started and helps motivate you to continue.

  6. Lastly, my personal favorite, MONTHLY MASSAGE. Budget monthly for a massage and you won’t regret it! Massage helps reduce pain and stiffness, by resetting neurotransmitters and reducing the stress hormone cortisol through therapeutic touch. In addition, massage decreases heart rate, increases blood circulation, and improves sleep! A monthly session helps keep your body performing at its optimal- and helps you keep attuned to your body and its needs! My favorite part about being a Licensed Massage Therapist is that I get to offer an outside view into someone’s health and help clients reach their goals!

I hope these tips and tricks offered some inspiration!

-Lily Brunner, LMT #24477


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