January is Mental Health Awareness Month

January is National Mental Wellness Month. In honor of that I'd like to share some strategies to reduce stress:

1. Develop a positive attitude--people with positive attitudes are apt to be happier, more successful, and better able to handle crisis and stress. And in concert with the positive attitude, get an attitude of gratitude for what you have instead of dwelling on what you don't. 

2. Avoid negative self talk--laugh at your mistakes and say I'll remember next time.

3. View a crisis situation as an opportunity--creative problem solving can expand your options. Try to make a list of good things that could result from the problem you're having to solve.

4. Laugh--Humor is a great stress reducer. Studies indicate laughter can make you healthier. 

5. Exercise--Regular exercise increases energy and releases brain biochemicals to ward off depression and anxiety. Just a 15 minute walk a day will help keep body and soul together. 

6. Improve your diet--During times of stress you can skip meals or eat junk food. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fiber will help you maintain the physical and mental stress you need to deal with the situation. 

7. Get enough rest- sleep disturbances are common during stress. 

8. Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed.

DON'T:

1. Use alcohol as a sleep aid--as it actually disrupts your sleep within 4 hours. 

2. Don't over use caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes or food for emotional support.