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Relieve Stress With This Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions


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I usually set goals for the year when January arrives. Not this time.

I’ve decided to take life as it comes. Instead of saddling myself with resolutions, I’m embarking on something new.

January derives from the two-faced Roman god Janus, who viewed both the future and the past. Drawing from both is how I’ve always managed with sarcoidosis. I cherish the bright spots, and push forward to find more. 

With COVID-19 vaccines and home test kits arriving this month, and new political leadership being sworn into office in the U.S., hope is in the air. But until we return to normal as we knew it, finding enjoyment will require a little more effort. 

Instead of getting caught up with New Year’s dreams of grand changes that so often don’t materialize by year’s end, I’m focusing on finding new interests to occupy my time. One reason for this is that January also is “National Hobby Month.”

I had a lot of hobbies growing up, such as drawing, working on puzzles, collecting comics, and writing short stories. A recent conversation with my brother-in-law made me think about how many of them I have dropped along the way. 

My lifelong addiction to books and a 10-year love affair with the National Football League have endured. They are my passions, and provide an escape from worries and chronic pain. 

According to a survey by the American Psychological Association titled “Stress in America 2020: A National Mental Health Crisis,” the emotional fallout from the pandemic will be felt for years to come.

I fooled myself into thinking that stress wasn’t getting to me. A toothache a couple weeks ago was my wake-up call. I decided to try wearing a dental night guard before heading back to the dentist. Sure enough, the toothache went away, which told me that I had been clenching and grinding my teeth while sleeping.

The Mayo Clinic explains how stress can impact our body and state of mind and cause symptoms we mistakenly attribute to illness. Recreational activities boost mood and health, according to the 2015 study “Real-Time Associations Between Engaging in Leisure and Daily Health and Well-Being,” published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Facing another unpredictable year with a rare disease, I hope exploring more interests will keep my teeth-gnashing and stress at bay. Home-brewed kombucha, blogging, calligraphy, book nook building, and website development are early considerations. But I’m still in the process of exploring possibilities at sites like Discover a Hobby.

I would love to hear how others have fun in their spare time. Leave a comment, it may just give me and others a great idea!


Brighter side: We all could use a break from bad news right now. So, I’ll be closing my columns with a roundup of positivity until we are able to say goodbye to masks, hug our loved ones, and leave our homes without fear.

  • Did Santa deliver? Smartphones, smartwatches, PlayStation 5, and Xbox consoles dominated Christmas wish lists in the U.S., according to researchers HomeSnacks. Did Santa come through for you? To see which gift was the most popular in your state, according to the study, click here.
  • No luggage necessary: If you are feeling cooped up and bored, this immersive experience may help banish the blues: virtual reality travel. TravelMag reports on the 10 best adventures available. Just slip on a VR headset. Ancient Rome, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, or the ruins of New Orleans await, where you will fight to survive in “The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners.”


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

The post Relieve Stress With This Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions appeared first on Sarcoidosis News.

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