Got Stress?

anxiety

You’re not alone! Last week the New York Times ran an article on how prevalent stress and anxiety due to the economy have become. The article cites two telling polls: 80% of people report being stressed out by the economy and 27% report having problems sleeping due to money woes. Even those who aren’t concerned that they will lose their jobs are worried about friends and family losing theirs.

Have you noticed an upswing in your stress and anxiety lately? Below are a few tips to help you relax and de-stress.

  • Write it out. Losing your job keeping you up at night? Write a list of the worst that could happen if your fear came true — try to be logical and as specific as possible. (e.g., “If I’m laid off and have to fall back on savings, I will have to cut back weekly spending by 30% and find a new apartment that costs no more than $X. I can live like that for three months while I look for another job. After that…”) Realizing the specifics of the worst case scenario is way better than imagining an abstract (and anxiety-inducing) catastrophic situation.
  • Work it out. These days, we could all use some extra endorphins. To stay positive and get rid of nervous energy, exercise at least three times per week. Did your gym membership not survive budget cuts? Check out Fitness NYC‘s great coverage of DVDs you can use for a complete in-home workout.
  • Zone out. Sometimes we just need to slow down and relax — this is where restorative yoga comes in. This form of yoga triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers blood pressure and your heart rate and gives the body time to heal itself. Best of all, it only takes 20 minutes and you don’t have to do anything but lie there quietly! My favorite pose is called Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall). It brings blood to the head and the heart, and is especially good if you’ve been walking or running a lot. Check out this article for instructions on how to do it.
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