Monday June 17, 2013
If you haven't signed up for the Healthy Monday newsletter
yet, now is the time! The Healthy Monday Newsletter is a free newsletter that challenges you to adopt one simple healthy habit each week, and supplies you with the information (and hopefully, motivation) to do so! These changes are easy: plan a healthy vacation
, supplement your diet
, sneak some exercise into your day
. And the information comes from all over the About.com Health network, so all of the articles I link to in the newsletter are written by passionate experts and reviewed by our team of doctors; you'll be getting trusted information in a simple and actionable format. And it's all edited by someone you already know and trust: me
If you've already subscribed, you probably know that this week's Healthy Monday Newsletter went nicely with the About.com Stress Management newsletter, as they both focused on things you can do now that it's summer--either to get more active or to better manage stress. If you haven't subscribed yet, I'm including some of the information from the newsletter here, so you can get on board for this week and start working toward a healthier lifestyle from now on. (And if you haven't signed up for the stress management newsletter, now is the time for that also--you'll be able to get the next one later this week!) So I hope for the best health for all of you, and I'm sharing some of the best resources I've seen to help you along the way, one step at a time!
Get Outside--And Move!
Is Exercising Outdoors Good For Your Longevity?
Being active outside carries specific benefits over being active indoors. What are they? You might enjoy reading the research on this--I did! Longevity Guide Sharon Basaraba has information on this that should inspire you to get out and move!
How To Make Exercise Fun
Playing volleyball on the beach, biking with your family, going for a hike in nature: these activities all sound more like fun than work, don't they? They are the types of exercise most people look forward to, not just people who are in the habit of working out. How can you make your workouts more fun? The Longevity site has tips to keep the fun in your fitness.
Outdoor Circuit Workout
What specific moves can you make outside to build muscle and increase your cardiovascular endurance? Exercise Guide Paige Waehner has an outdoor circuit workout that can help you build a healthier body.
The Best Time of Day to Walk and Exercise
Should you exercise in the morning or the evening? As it turns out, there are benefits to both. Which time of day would work best for you? Walking Guide Wendy Bumgardner has research to help you decide.
Sign up for the Healthy Monday newsletter (and don't forget to sign up for my Stress Management Weekly Newsletter while you're at it, if you haven't already), and start building a healthier body now!...........................................................................
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Tuesday June 11, 2013
Vacations are an important part of enjoying life and staying relaxed and effective in your job and your life. They need to be grand and expensive, but they work better if they contain a few key ingredients--otherwise, you could literally come back from your vacation needing a vacation! See what they are, and find ways to work them into your next break.
Create Truly Restful Vacations For Yourself
Why We Need Vacations
Feel like an annual vacation is a luxury that you can't afford? Here's why vacations are not only fun, but necessary! Read up on research-proven benefits to vacations.
How To Reduce The Stress of Travel With Kids
Whether you're trying to coax an antsy toddler to stay sitting (and quiet!), answering the endlessly asked question, "How much longer now?," or desperately trying to avoid being the parents with the screaming baby, travel with kids can be stressful! Luckily, these steps can greatly cut down on your travel stress so you can really enjoy your trip.
Quick and Cheap Vacations
If you can't take days off of work and go somewhere exotic, here are some ideas you can do in a weekend, and feel like you really had a break!
What are the best ingredients to include in a vacation? The worst? Write your comments in the 'comments' section, and pass this blog onto your friends and family using the 'share' button. Have a great week!
Sunday June 2, 2013
During October, otherwise known as Emotional Intelligence Month, I pledged to bring to your awareness the numerous, more-obscure-but-still-important holidays and observances that relate to stress management. (You can read more about it here.) June is 'Rebuild Your Life Month'.
Because June is 'Rebuild Your Life Month', there's no better time than now to take a look at your life and the stressors in it, and make some changes!
It's true that much of our experience of stress lies in how we look at things--threat vs. challenge, external vs. internal locus of control, half-empty or half-full. However, if we have to many stressors in our lives--situations that routinely trigger the stress response--it may take constant effort to recover physically and emotionally from the body's stress reaction; it just makes sense to eliminate some of the situations that cause stress (whenever possible), and add restorative habits and regular activities that reduce our stress levels.
Where to begin? If you're experiencing a lot of stress in a certain area of your life, that situation will probably pop right into your mind without much work. However, stress does generalize, meaning, if you're feeling a lot of stress at your job, for example, you'll feel more stressed at home, too; if you're feeling a lot of stress in one of your important relationships, you may be less resilient to stress you face in other relationships or in other areas of your life. Thus, if you're feeling stress in a few areas of life, it may be difficult to know where all the stress is coming from; it may just feel like it's coming from all sides!
If you're not sure where to begin with the changes you can make in your life, the Lifestyle Stress Quiz can help you examine different areas of your life to determine which areas are stressing you the most, and find resources to help.
The following resources can also give you a good start in relieving stress in your lifestyle, and move you along the path of rebuilding your life for the better!
Lifestyle Stress Relief Resources:
- Set Priorities
If you find yourself too busy and would like to make more time in your schedule for the things that matter the most (including stress relief habits!), here's a resource that will help you know where to pare down.
- Manage Job Stress
Don't love your job, but can't quit? Here are some ways to make your current job less stressful, more satisfying, and less likely to lead to burnout.
- Deal With Conflict
Having conflict in your life can damage your health and happiness. Resolving conflict without making things worse is key! Here are some healthy conflict resolution strategies you should know about, which can help you cut down on relationship stress.
- Financial Stress Relief
With many people in a place of financial crisis, money stress is one of the biggies. Here's how to handle a financial crisis, if you're faced with one.
- Cull Clutter
Yes, clutter can actually be a stressor! Think about it: being surrounded by clutter can subtly drain you of energy, day in and day out. While it may not be easy to go from slob to neatnik (and, as one for whom neatness does not come naturally, I speak from experience!), there are steps you can take to keep your level of clutter at a point you can live with, or maybe even a little better! Read about clutter and de-cluttering here, and take some steps toward order today.
- Add Healthy Habits
It's important to take care of yourself--you'll live longer, be happier, and feel less stressed. Simply put, a well-cared-for body is less reactive to stress. Here are some self-care strategies and healthy lifestyle habits you can adopt that will cut down on stress in your life.
- Change Your Attitude!
What you say to yourself about things that happen in your life has a lot to do with how you experience your life. In other words, your attitude matters--it can create or eliminate stress to a great extent! Learn more about how to change your thinking style to change your stress levels.
What are your biggest stressors? Share your answer in this Reader Response article about causes of stress, or add to the comments section. Also, you can see what healthy lifestyle changes have helped other readers the most!
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Monday May 20, 2013
Now that warm weather is upon us and summer is rapidly approaching, many, many of us are resolving to get more fit--to have more energy for summer fun, to feel more comfortable in summer clothes, or just to fulfill those forgotten New Year's goals of staying healthier. As you may or may not know, stress does play a role in such things--it can change your cravings as well as your habits--but fear not! If you have any interest in weight loss or fitness (or know someone who does), here are some tips for meeting your diet and exercise goals, even when stressed.
Stress Eating Resources From Elizabeth Scott:
Take The Stress and Weight Gain Test
Stress can contribute to weight gain in several ways. If you're having
trouble with your weight and wonder what role stress may be playing, or if
you just want information and resources for healthy change, this is the quiz
for you! The following 10 questions are each designed to help you assess a
different aspect of your lifestyle to determine if you may benefit from some
simple changes that can help you keep your weight under control when you're
stressed. At the end of the quiz, you'll find resources that pertain to your
What Causes Emotional Eating?
Even if we know what we're supposed to be eating, there are additional
factors that influence how much and what type of food we consume. One of
these factors is stress, which is linked to increased emotional eating.
Emotional eating has many causes. Learn about the main reasons--besides
hunger--that stressed people eat, and find resources to stop emotional
How To Stop Emotional Eating
As anyone who's watching their weight will tell you, hunger is just one of
many reasons that people eat. If you're an emotional eater, you may find
yourself eating to deal with uncomfortable emotions, using food as a reward
when you're happy, and craving sweets or unhealthy snacks when stressed.
This article can help you to cut down emotional eating and develop healthier
eating habits--even when stressed!
Diet Tips For The Stressed
Despite best intentions, many people find themselves falling short of their diet ideals due to various 'diet traps', or factors that may sneak in and sabotage a healthy diet. The following diet tips can help you to combat some of the main diet traps people encounter, and maintain a healthy diet that keeps you feeling great.
Healthy Diet Resources From About.com
Source: Bray, George. Pounds Lost. New England Journal of Medicine February 26, 2009.
Image from iStockPhoto.com
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