8 Ways to Keep It Together and Come Out Healthier
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us try to stay on target with our health, but sometimes it may feel like something is missing. The missing piece may actually be some positive steps that we could use to lower the volume on our stress.
That’s the theory from the Harvard medical community as it looks at the impact stress may have on our blood pressure, weight and immune system. They suggest taking positive steps to ease up and feel better.
Spend some time outside – Step outside and notice how everything seems to slow down a bit. Whenever you feel agitated, or the day seems endless, take a walk, head to the park or just sit in the sun for a few minutes. If the outside really helps you relax, consider setting up a small outside retreat at home, away from the world in your garden or on your patio. You may find yourself using it on a regular basis to decompress.
Learn how to relax – Moving meditations like yoga and tai chi, and deep breathing exercises really can help the body slow down and ease up. Unplugging from your electronics for an hour, an afternoon, or a day, can ease the vibrations, too.
Create a sleep haven – Getting enough sleep will make you feel so much better in the morning. Start with a calmer evening, less screen time, tobacco or alcohol before bedtime, and a new bedroom retreat with low lights, soft music and a relaxing bedtime routine.
Reach out to connect and help – Call old friends or take the time to help someone who is in need. One-on-one connections with the people in our world can make us smile, and make them happier too.
Slow down and live better – Take a good look at your schedule and see what you can do to make it flow better. The easier your day at home and at work, the lower your stress levels will be.
Work on arguments – Don’t just ignore ongoing problems with friends or family. See if you can sit down and begin to talk through the situation. You may find your adversaries really want to iron out problems as much as you do.
Take better care of you – If you always put work and family first, it may be time to treat yourself to an afternoon of browsing in the bookstore. Or you may just need a nap or a long walk listening to music.
Get help if you need it – Don’t hesitate to ask for help if stress and anxiety are still concerns in your life.
As always, see your doctor first, and counselors who might be recommended to work through any stress or anxiety issues that you have.