Stress is the ruler of so many things. It can be such an enemy in our lives and much more than some want to accept. Stress can be the cause of weight gain, acne, illness, chronic illness, and etc… We all still let it in and control our lives. This year lets work at making the goal to element stress as much as we can. Here are some first steps to take.


1. Toxic Relationships

A lot of people avoid this when it comes to stress because they feel guilty. Unfortunately, toxic relationships may mean parents, friends, or possibly dating relationships. Relationships that manipulate, control, and make you feel stressed beyond belief need out. In my opinion, you cannot lead a stress-free life without cutting out the huge tumor of toxic relationships.


2. Less TV, More Reading

I know reading can be a chore to some but it is good for the brain. Find books that interest you and get lost in them. Stop coming home at night just to zone out in front of a box. Reading books can help spark your imagination and give your brain a working rest. Working rest as in working to help grow by imagining and rest by enjoying the reading.


3. Stop Rewarding With Food

Whenever we have the need to celebrate (birthdays, promotions, not having a crappy day…) a lot of people feel the need to stuff their face with sugar and flour laden food. For some, it is the first thing they think of when they go to a party. This year, focus on rewarding or celebrating with positive things. Getting a massage, a hot bath, a walk around your favorite area, etc…


4. Get Physical

We all know that science shows us that working out raises our endorphins which helps us feel happier so why is this not a prescription? Find a workout you enjoy doing. Walking, running, weight lifting, pilates, CrossFit, workout classes, yoga. There are so many ways to workout that you have to find something you enjoy. Make it a goal this year to workout several times a week rather than stress at home on your couch after a hard day at work.


5. Stop Body Shaming

There is just absolutely no point to it. It makes no one feel any better. Realize the times you are shaming on your self and stop. When you hear your self-starting to say, “Oh I am so…” Stop. Move on with your day. This can put you in a negative stressful mood the minute you wake up.


6. Realize The Small Stuff

One of the things traveling has taught me most is how small we and our lives are. Which led me to realize some of the little things I stressed over were nothing. They were completely not worth my time. Examples being, feeling the need to ALWAYS have your home clean, worrying about innocent words offending someone, keeping your wardrobe “on point”, and etc… Find these things in your life and make a point to let them go this year.


7. Social Media

Another thing traveling taught me was how pointless Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be. Using them for business? A must. Checking in with old classmates? Nope. This year I deleted all of my personal accounts and only check in with business ones. Decide if you want to either delete them, set time restrictions, or take long breaks at a time. Trust me. This will cut more stress than you can imagine.


8. Loved Ones

We talked about how important it is to cut out toxic relationships and the next step is to find people who love you. A way to survive abusive and toxic relationships is to find others who want to be with you. Whether that be a new relationship, friends you put at a distance, parents, siblings, colleagues… whoever. Start making an effort this year with those you love and love you.


9. Hobbies

Not only make time for people you love but THINGS you love. Find something you enjoy and dive into it. Maybe you already know what that is but feel you “never have time”. Even once a week, month, every other month, every six months because this topic could be anything. It could be trying new recipes or traveling. Make time for the things you find enjoyment in.


10. Rest

After you make time for all of these things and get your head in the right place you need to rest. Rest as in sleeping or shutting your brain off. Not scrolling through your internet, watching tv, or laying in bed worrying. Actually, take more time to close your eyes and shut down. This could be going to bed earlier at night or taking a week-long vacation every so often for some downtime.



Sarah Betty is creator & owner of The TopKnot Life an online resource for the getting-stuff-done women who don't have the time or energy to research. She is the mother who does better research than the FBI.


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