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Stress Less and Be Your Best in 2018

This new year, resolve to stress less and enjoy more.

January 05, 2018

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Happy New Year! Each year on New Year’s Day, people around the world make resolutions for the new year. In 2017, Kidzworld gave you a few tips on how to get on track for success at school, at home, with friends, and with your cash flow.

Whether you rocked those resolutions for a day or all 365 days last year, don’t worry: January 1 gives you a clean slate to keep going or start fresh. And worrying less is the theme of our resolution suggestions for 2018! 

Start the new year off happy and stress free!Start the new year off happy and stress free!

Stress Less, Relax More

Winter break is already a memory, and back to school blues are here. Waking up early, extreme winter weather across most of the country, homework, chores, and drama can really wear you down and even stress you out. Resolving to spend less time worrying and more time being chill is the first step to being more relaxed.

Resolve to stress less in the new year!Resolve to stress less in the new year!Courtesy of Psychology Today

There's no need to spend a fortune on massages and bath bombs or eat your weight in ice cream -- instead, practice mindfulness and good sleep habits to keep a cool head and a tension-free back throughout the school year:

  • Before going to sleep, spray your favorite essential oil scent on your pillow and around your room, like lavender or mint. This helps to get your brain ready for bed, causing deeper and more productive sleep, so you won’t be tired throughout the day.
  • Don’t eat chocolate before bed. There are 20 milligrams of caffeine in one serving of Hershey’s Kisses, which is about 20% of the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. That’s like taking a few sips of coffee before bed, which can keep you up for hours.
  • Have a go-to yoga routine or pose to do whenever you’re feeling stressed. Try sun salutations. They are a great way to open up your breath, increasing the blood flow to your brain. 

Kids Yoga: Sun Salutations

 

If you want to keep your yoga practice simple, try the child’s pose, which helps to relax the body and calm the mind. Then lie flat on your stomach, hands at your chest and elbows back, and lift your head and chest back in cobra pose. Transition to a downward-facing dog pose by raising your butt in the air, keeping your hands in the same position and straightening your arms and legs. Do this four or five times as a quick study break for a great back stretch and core exercise.

Gentle yoga poses like downward dog, cobra, and child's pose help you stress less, stretch, and get stronger at the same time.Gentle yoga poses like downward dog, cobra, and child's pose help you stress less, stretch, and get stronger at the same time.Courtesy of Yoga Health Journal, Yoga Outlet,
  • Eat healthier. When your stomach is full of junk food and soda, and your diet isn’t balanced like the food pyramid, your body isn’t prepared to handle everyday stress. Take a quick check of your plate at every meal and make sure at least half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables. 

Eating well-balanced meals can keep your moods balanced, tooEating well-balanced meals can keep your moods balanced, tooCourtesy of ChooseMyPlate.gov
  • Take a break! When you’ve been staring at a blank page for the past few minutes, it’s time to eat some brain food (sliced avocado, blueberries, or eggs in your favorite style) or get lost in a good book for a chapter. And of course, spend time getting silly or having fun with friends. 
  • Use your down-time effectively instead of zoning out in front of the TV eating chips. Make a list of things you like to do in your free time, and make sure you do them! Whether it’s listening to your favorite band, watching your favorite cartoon, or hanging out with your best friends, make time for the things you love to do. 
  • Share your thoughts and fears. Whether you keep a journal or have someone to talk to, it helps to spill your feelings and not keep them bottled up inside.
  • Lighten up! According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), when you laugh, you use 15 facial muscles. Laughing also makes you feel good and releases stress. “Everyone has those days when they do something really silly or stupid — instead of getting upset with yourself, laugh out loud! No one’s perfect!” the CDC says. “Life should be about having fun.

Laughter and spending time with good friends is fun and good for you, too!Laughter and spending time with good friends is fun and good for you, too!Courtesy of Come to Capetown

Help yourself by helping others

We often get stressed when we get caught up in our own lives. When you help others, you put some good into the world and you also get outside your own head, breaking the stress cycle. While you might think volunteering is an adult thing, we've come up with easy ways kids can make a difference and have fun at the same time! 

  • Volunteer to make sandwiches for a local shelter.
  • Volunteer to read to younger kids or play with kids at a daycare center. Kids LOVE it when bigger kids come to hang out, play pretend, or read with them. Getting messy with play dough or reading an old favorite like "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day" to an eager audience can be a great stress break for you, too!

Love working with kids? Preschools and libraries can pair you with kids you can read to.Love working with kids? Preschools and libraries can pair you with kids you can read to.Courtesy of Honolulu Star Bulletin
  • Clean out your bookshelf and closet and donate your gently used toys, games, books, and clothes. Your parents can help you find a local charity that can pick up your donations.
  • Start a book or toy drive and ask your friends to do the same thing in their own homes.
  • Have a lemonade stand or bake sale to raise money for a good cause, whether it’s people who have been affected by fires or hurricanes, a local animal shelter, or a family in your area who is going through a tough time.
  • Write notes and make crafts to bring to a local elder care center or children’s hospital.
  • Pick up the phone and call your grandparents and other family members. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and it will make them feel so good to know you’re thinking of them!
  • Write a letter to a friend or family member far away.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they need supplies for their strays. Some shelters welcome donations of old blankets or towels, recycled newspapers, pet toys, and dog or cat food. And some shelters even let kids volunteer, so it doesn't hurt to ask. And even if they don't need much, they'll be really grateful you asked! 
  • Put a note or piece of chocolate on your mom or dad’s pillow to find when they go to bed. Sweet surprises are a great way to make people you care about happy! And when you make someone happy, you feel good, too!

Love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter to reduce your stress and help out at the same time!Love animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter to reduce your stress and help out at the same time!Courtesy of Heart of the Valley Shelter
Have Your Say

What are your resolutions for 2018? Share them in the comments below!