31 Dec Why it’s Worth it to Tackle Stress in the New Year
While we all may breathe a little easier once 2020 is behind us, the stress of this year will likely carry into the new year – and bring with it some unpleasant side effects. Although you’ll hear plenty of places about ‘reducing’ or ‘managing’ stress, here’s why it’s really worth it to tackle your stress in the new year…
- You may breathe easier – literally. As Body One’s Dr. Eric Oberst shared in this previous piece, when you’re regularly stressed out (which is basically…everyone…in 2020). you begin to breathe differently. Your body responds to this stress reaction with a higher resting heart rate and respiration, making usual exercise more difficult and causing earlier fatigue. Reducing your stress could improve your breathing and reduce the physical strain on your body.
- You might sleep better. Many people carry their stress with them to bed, making for a less-than-restful night’s sleep. Some people end up with insomnia, tossing and turning, while others sleep fitfully and wake feeling exhausted. Managing your stress could help you to get better sleep which can have huge benefits for your health.
- It can improve your mental health. Carrying a load of stress can increase issues with mental health illnesses like depression and anxiety. Reducing stress can be a step to taking better care of your mental health.
- You might have less physical pain. Stress can manifest in pain and tension held in the body. Ever heard of a ‘tension headache?’ Neck, back, and shoulder pain can be triggered by unmanaged stress. Dealing with your stress can help your body feel better.
- It can pay off in other areas of your life. When you’re totally stressed out, you’re not at your best. You may snap at friends and loved ones. You may not put your best effort into your work. Managing stress can help get you back to feeling like yourself and pay off in all areas of your life.
It’s easy to say, but not so easy to do, especially after one of the toughest years most people have ever faced. Here are some ways you can work toward managing stress in the year ahead:
- Meditate. Meditating is something anyone can do, although it does take a little practice to make it part of your regular routine. Regular meditation is advised for everything from chronic stress to active panic disorder. As we shared before, this app is free until July of the new year! It can help even the newest of newbies to meditation.
- Exercise. Get that heart rate up! Even though you might not be able to take advantage of gym New Year’s sales like most years, there are plenty of online options available and workouts you can do at home. Even taking a short, quick walk regularly can be enough to help lower your stress.
- Journal. Write about it! Set aside 10-15 mins every day to write about what’s on your mind and how you’re feeling. You may find that you feel less stressed once writing becomes a habit.
- Spend time in nature. As we wrote here, spending even 20 minutes in nature can have positive benefits for mental health. So, bundle up and get out for a stroll on a wooded trail, or a scenic walking path.
- Take care of your overall health. Don’t put off taking care of your mental or physical health. There’s a reason that annual appointments are recommended by medical pros, and why we say you should take care of things earlier rather than later. This year, make an appointment for your Annual PT Exam to address the health of your musculoskeletal system. Taking care of pain and issues can help you get -and stay- more active which can have major benefits for your stress!
Every day our experienced, caring Physical Therapists work with clients of all ages and activity levels. Working to improve how you move, feel, and function can help reduce your stress: stress around injury, stress caused by pain, movement, and mobility problems, stress caused or worsened by inactivity, and more. If you’re ready to tackle your stress with the help of Physical Therapy and addressing musculoskeletal issues, Body One PT is here and ready to help you reach your goals.
We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of expert Physical Therapists is ready to get you moving in the right direction, so don’t put up with pain or fear of injury another day! Call or click to start working with the best PT team in Indy!