Category Archives: Relaxing

Healthy Habits for Small Crisis

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It is easy to say you just could not help yourself when you go for that chocolate cake slice after struggling to survive this latest disaster. Life is full of ups and downs, it is unavoidable. Splurging on that indulgence may help to ease the burden when you are in meltdown mode, but that help is temporary and will not endure long enough to see you through the rest of the disaster. Since we all face the worst of times, it is necessary to learn to cope with the little bumps in the road to help you develop the healthy habits for stress relief that will keep you away from guilty food indulgences when you have reached your breaking point.  Here are my top ten that is repeated regularly to my clients to help them stay on track with their health goals.

1. Take a walk. No better way to relieve tension then to walk it out of your system.

2. Meditate. It is a practice that should be completed daily to help move your focus beyond your limitations and bring your dreams and hopes into reality. There is no rule that states you cannot meditate more often to find your center when life throws you more hardships than you think you can bear.

3. Go for a drive. Driving can be very relaxing for most people, especially when you are able to do so in pleasing scenary and avoid bad traffic.

4. Listen to music. Watch out for the hard core hits with beats that pound in your heart. I am talking about the calmer tones in any genre that make you feel calmer.

5. Sit outside and just listen. The world outside is full of sounds that can attract the senses. Close your eyes, or watch with eyes while your mind wanders.

6. Visualize your goals. Like mediatation, you want to remind yourself regularly why indulging just this once is really not worth it. Your goals are.

7. Call a friend. I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to eat because I was too busy gabbing.

8. Occupy your hands. Knit, sew, garden, paint, draw, sculpt. Activities such as these and working with wood or folding paper focuses your attention to your task and off your taste buds.

9. Drink water. Yup, water. It cannot be repeated enough that drinking water curbs your appetite; especially when you are aware your body can survive far longer without food than it can water. In most cases we mistake thirst for hunger. So, drink 32oz of water then wait 15 minutes and drink another 32oz. If still hungry after another 15 minutes then grab the celery sticks or bell pepper slices.

10. Window shop. Remember the ones about meditating and visualizing? If your imaginationshop just isn’t cutting it, then reality certainly will. It can be easier to dream of what you want when you can see what you want.

See IT Then Believe IT

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Working out, training, changing diet, measuring calories with activity, sleeping; all part of working your way to a healthier body. Last post we discussed Vision Boards…Your regular and unavoidable reminder of what you are working to accomplish. Now we are moving on to your not so unavoidable, but nevertheless important, reminder. Everyone needs a little quiet time. Ask any mother and they will tell you they look forward to any reason to put themselves in time out. It is not only essential to motherhood, but to everyone; male and female. We need to take regular breaks in our day to find control and peace. Without this alone time we are prone to anxiety, anger, emotional outbursts, illness, and depression. Since I have made it very obvious that this time to yourself is imperative to your sanity, you might as well put it to the best use!

This is your chance to see yourself healthier. Everyone is  blessed with an imagination. Take that gift and think of yourself as thinner and healthier. Is it something you can do at any time and in any position? Nope! It needs a little more effort than that. Step one- take a look in the mirror. I am serious, take a good long hard look. Memorize the shape of your face, the curve of your hips, the shape and length of your arms and torso. Memorize yourself. You need a good picture to call upon as a starting point to thinning and toning the body in your imagination.

Find a quiet place with the appropriate noise or lack thereof if needed. Some need complete silence before they can reach deep inside of themselves and forget everything else. Others find this brings on their brain’s ability to create noise so white noise is best (fan, low static). Others need some familiar noise that helps them to relax. The sound of the ocean, gentle and quiet traffic noises, soft instrumental or nature (zen) music. No one can tell you what you need except for yourself, whatever helps you to forget the world around you is perfect.

Next is to pick a place. You must be sitting up, not too relaxed and not in a public place. Remember the goal is to forget everything around you, which is easier if there is limited to no activity around you. Do not use a reclined or sleeping position. Trust me, you will fall asleep therefore defeating the purpose.  If you happen to be one of those able fall asleep in any position (my father) you will need to keep trying different background noises to help keep you in check.

Close your eyes. No matter how good your imagination is, unless you have learned how to sleep with your eyes wide open you will need to shut off your optical sensory to find the quiet place within your mind. Think of yourself and start melting off the fat, toning the muscle, trimming the facial features and smoothing out the buldges. Spend 15 minutes a day finding the healthy body hidden behind the weight and focus on having that body. Imagine the activities you will be able to participate in, the places you can go, the clothes you will wear, the hair style you will choose. Do not leave anything out and burn that image into your subconscience. If you want to accomplish something you have to see it already accomplished or you will never believe it can be done.

Lastly, attach an emotion to your mental image. These emotions would include, pleasure, happiness, joy, or excitement. Without the emotion is won’t last. You have to be emotionally as well as physically invested to your goal or you will lose your motivation and revert back to your starting point. Do not waste precious time in skipping over steps that are proven to help you reach your ideal body health.quiet

Stress to Impress? I Don’t Think So!

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Stress is just a normal part of every work day, family and life right? Wrong. You may encounter stress on a regular basis, but our minds and bodies are designed to cope with a much smaller amount then we seem willing to bear. Our children have to be at that game, then that concert, then that play group. My boss expects that project on his desk by the start of the next day, send out that email newsletter to all my coworker, or pack for the coming trip. There is the long commute from work or regular activities to deal with and all the energetic drivers that share the road with me. The book group that meets right after my last class, but I also have to write that paper and submit my work before midnight tonight. Don’t get me started on the exam tomorrow morning that I have yet to study for.

 

Breathe. That is the second step to relieving some of that stress and the first is just as simple… realizing your stressed. Of course, this is only the beginning, but it is also far from the end. Most of our stress is self induced. Our children do not need to play every sport or attend every school event. Our neighbors won’t think less of us it is takes us a month to get to know them. The bake sale may still make money if you offer up oreos, or better yet, milano cookies. You have a choice and you do not need to run yourself ragged trying to fit less important activities into your day.

 

Though you cannot put off your boss, reschedule your exams or turn in a late paper, and you certainly cannot change the traffic- don’t we all wish!- you can control the extras in your life that make it harder to control and have time for the necessities. For those that seem to be in a cycle of uncontrollable madness, it will not last forever. Now, I am sure you are wondering just what I think you could possibly do to lessen the stress and I am happy to answer your silent question. These are just ideas and once you get reading you may have an “Ah Ha” moment that brings out a suggestion that is more tailored to your needs and interests.

 

Read. Yup, that favorite friend sitting on the shelf or the stranger whose spine you have yet to crack has the ability to transport you away from your troubles and into a world where you are only an observer. Watch a sad movie. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a good cry to wipe away the pain, fear, and worry that stress just insists upon inviting to the party. Call up your closest friend. Many a time I have taken advantage of the friend that is happy to help me see beyond my problems into the wonderful world of the future. Just remember to be as available when they need the same. Take a bath. Showers can be helpful in a pinch, especially if you have a really good massaging shower head, but it can never measure up to a good bath with low lighting, silence or quiet music, or bath salts if your are so inclined.  Stroke a dog or cat. There are no end of studies proving that loving an animal is the fastest way to lower your heart rate and calm your nerves.

 

Surf the blogs. Though forgetting the world beyond these four walls is best for some, others find their happy place in dreaming of projects, places, clothes, or electronics. Crochet, knit, embroidery, hand quilting. For those who cannot conceive why adding another project could possibly make anyone feel better, keep in mind there are many of us that find comfort and clarity in the weaving or clicking of needles. Meditate. This should be a no-brainer. You would have to live under a rock to not hear of the benefits of clearing your mind and perfecting focus. Play a game. Sometimes you just need to allow yourself to let loose and become hopelessly lost in a silly game. Do not understimate the power in laughter. Work out. For those of us who suffer from lack of sleep when stressed or who find it easier to think through their situation when pushing their body to the limit, you must make time for exercise. Essential oils. Thankfully no longer considered quack medicine, oils are proven to help your body do everything from relaxing and finding clarity to sleeping and- would you believe it?- relieving stress!

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