10 Ways to De-stress in the New Year

The new year is almost upon us. After all the holiday feasts, gifts and celebrations, try one of these activities to de-stress.

The new year is almost upon us. After all the holiday feasts, gifts and celebrations, try one of these activities to de-stress in the New Year.
Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Get outdoors:

Yes the weather outside is frightful, but that’s no reason to stay cooped up in the house or office. New Jersey is home to more than 50 state parks and numerous other sites for outdoor activities. On any smaller scale, a dose of fresh air can help to relieve stress and anxiety. Sunny-day bonus: Sunlight boosts serotonin levels, which help to fight stress.

Blow off some steam:

Ever want to smash something out of anger? The Rage Room in Hackensack might be right up your alley. Owner Danielle Sherfer created the space—opened in April 2018—to help people relieve stress. For various prices, you can take out your aggression on objects like mugs, wine bottles and televisions to bits.

Workout: 

Studies show exercise is a natural form of stress relief. There are lots of ways to get active in New Jersey. If you’re looking for something new, check out one of these unique fitness activities. Just remember to disconnect to truly be present, says Rutgers University associate professor Peter Economou. “If you’re staying on your phone while you’re at the gym you’re intention is less clear.” So leave the phone behind or switch to airplane mode while you sweat.

Connect with others:

Cell phones and social media will make you feel connected, but it’s important to cultivate real relationships. There are lots of places to gather with friends in the Garden State, such as restaurants and museums. What really matters is the quality time, says Stacey Dobrinsky, a psychologist at Stress and Anxiety Services of New Jersey. “I think it’s less about what you do and more specially about what matters to you.”

Meditate: 

Meditation is often one of the first tools people turn to when they want to de-stress. “There’s a couple of amazing studies that show meditation actually structurally changes your brain for the better,” Dobrinsky says. She recommends Headspace, an app that guides users through meditation practice. You can also check out a meditation center in New Jersey, such as the Summit Meditation Center and the Dharmachakra Buddhist Center in Vauxhall. Both offer classes.

Get a massage:

Yes, you can massage away stress. It’s a great way to practice self-care. “Self care is important especially this time of the year,” says Kira Baskerville-Williams, licensed clinical social worker and co-founder of Evolution Mind. Looking for a spa? Here are 24 of our favorites.

Have a laugh:

Laughter is good medicine—and that’s no joke. New Jersey has some popular comedy clubs, including the Stress Factory in New Brunswick, Bananas Comedy Club in Hasbrouck Heights and Catch A Rising Star in Princeton.

Get lost in the music:

Studies show listening to music can reduce stress. Thanks to modern, digital music services, you can take all of your favorite music with you wherever you go. There’s music for every mood – and plenty of live music too. KC & the Sunshine Band, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Panic! At the Disco all have concerts in New Jersey in January.

Redecorate: 

According to a Rutgers University study, incorporating flowers into your space can have a positive effect on your mood. This in turn reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. A new year is a great time to breathe some new life into your home and office spaces. Try one of these DIY home projects to get started.

Engage your creative side:

Art therapy is a great way to de-stress. That can mean practicing your own crafts; taking a class like a BYO experience; or visiting a New Jersey museum for inspiration. “Whatever it is you like to do, make sure you fill up this time,” says Baskerville-Williams. “Do things that you really enjoy doing.”

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