Happy New Year! Now that the holidays are over and resolutions have been made(and in most cases, broken) stress levels are beginning to ramp up for many of us. There’s no better time than now to take your mental health seriously. Let 2014 be your year of self-care! Having trouble getting started? Guess what? You already have by reading this blog post! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve guessed what this week’s stress tip is about.
You guessed it. Research indicates that reading reduces stress. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. And, the same study found that reading can be more effective than other stress reduction techniques in reducing stress. By reading, you not only engage in an effective stress management technique, but you also get more results for each minute spent! Why is reading so effective? In part because of distraction. When we read something that we’re interested in, particularly fiction or other creative writing, we’re transported into the world of the writing.
For best results, pick something that you’re interested in that won’t upset you. For many of us, that means staying away from the daily news. Fiction is a great choice, but it can also be something you’re interested in like a new hobby or even a magazine. Try to devote at least thirty minutes to your reading. And if you think that is too much, remember, 2014 is the year of self-care. You can find 30 minutes for yourself each day! It’s my challenge to you! Happy reading.
 University of Minnesota. “Reading for Stress Relief”. Retrieved http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/tips-change/reading-stress-relief.