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Sharp Health News

Staying stress-free and happy during the new year

Jan. 6, 2021

Woman laughing during a video conversation laying on couch
With 2020 behind us and 365 days of potential ahead of us, it might be tempting to start making plans for the new year. Given that COVID-19 restrictions will be in place for several more months, self-care and self-compassion will continue to be essential.

Olga Hays, an American Council on Exercise-certified wellness promotion specialist at Sharp HealthCare, shares these four tips to have a happy new year.

  1. Practice self-compassion
    It’s been a difficult year and a holiday season like no other. If you are experiencing sadness and a sense of loss due to isolation or travel restrictions, allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Let yourself laugh or cry, and give yourself permission to be happy or sad. Be extra kind and gentle to yourself by showing the same understanding and compassion you would to your best friend.

  2. Find your funny bone
    Try not to put too many high expectations on yourself. Learn to laugh at yourself and roll with whatever happens — it may even make for a good story later. Laughter offers many health benefits and is considered one of the best medicines for stress.

  3. Practice self-care
    Make time to do things that bring you happiness. Take a break to unwind and relax. Find something that will reduce your stress, whether it’s exercising, reading a book, practicing mindfulness or enjoying a cup of tea while watching your favorite show.

  4. Stay connected
    It may still be a challenge, but staying connected with the people you love and care about is important. You can virtually socialize with loved ones with a video call, phone call or text message. Checking in weekly with a family member, friend or neighbor can make a positive impact as we work our way out of the pandemic.
“This year feels more optimistic for many of us, but we must still follow the safety protocols that will move us closer to doing the things we love,” says Hays. “Do what you need to do to stay healthy and well.”

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