Reducing Stress in Winter

Trying to take a little tension out of your life? The cold season is upon us, and I find that when the weather gets frosty, so does my attitude. It’s easy to unwind during the summer, but sometimes, it requires a little more manual labor in the winter. Here are the 4 “c’s” that I turn to when I feel like I’m about to snap.

1. Clean. It’s time. Take a look around: there are clothes in your closet you haven’t tried on in over five years, and dishes piled up in your sink high enough to rival the Eiffel Tower. Set a date, and a time period to seriously get your hands dirty. It might take a good five hours, but going through your junk and getting rid of it will get your in the mood for taking care of other problems in your life. Dust, scrub, and really deep clean, until everything sparkles. There is nothing like living in a chaotic environment to contribute to a chaotic frame of mind.

2. Consolidate- Do you have multiple bills with multiple due dates coming at you all throughout the month? It’s the millennium people- paper bills are almost obsolete. Try logging onto an internet service like mycheckfree.com. You can put all your billing information for places like Macys, Nordstrom, Geico, some cell phone companies, ect, and then log in one once to schedule direct payments from your bank account. They will send you email reminders when you get a new bill, and you’ll almost never forget to make a payment (or pay a late fee) again.
3. Care- about yourself. Now would be a great time to join an indoor gym or workout group. Pent up energy and body frustration are one of the biggest stress inducers. If you are working overtime at the office, or have a high stress job, you’ll find that exercise can really do wonders for your attitude and your health. It also can contribute to your focus and your productivity. Or try something soothing like yoga, or even stretching in the morning.

4. Cut back- there are things you do in excess that you know contribute to your stress level. Identify them first: is it smoking, drinking, junk food eating, working, spending? When those x-factors are no longer unnamed, make goals for yourself during the next month. Call it a November resolution. Spend less on clothes, cut back to a few cigarettes a week. Take a day off this month and relax. Getting involved too deeply in any kind of habit, even doing nothing at all, is stressful You have to change it up, and sometimes that means doing a lot less of what you’re doing. Also, the very act of restricting these things can make you feel like you’re more in control of your life.

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