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De-stress. It Feels Good!

De-stress.  It Feels Good!“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.”  We’ve all heard it.  Maybe you’ve said it yourself.  Could the same thing be said about stress? 

The truth is that there are lots of things that we can do, or stop doing, to have a big impact on reducing the stress in our lives.

Having a good night’s sleep is a huge gift we give ourselves, and probably the best way to have a great “next” day.  Establish and follow a bedtime routine.  This includes having a regular bedtime, and sticking to it, give or take 60 minutes on either side of it, even on the weekends.  It also means getting off the electronics at least one hour before bedtime. 

Before going to bed at night, set out clothes and everything else that will be needed in the morning.  That frees us from needing to make those decisions in the morning.

Have a morning routine.  Instead of hitting the “snooze” button in the morning, get those extra minutes of sleep by going to bed earlier the night before.  Start the morning with a shower and some quick stretches.

Hydrate yourself in the morning.  Eat a breakfast that includes health-promoting, nutrient-rich foods before you head into the day.

Take and make the most of a lunch break.  Get outside.  Take a walk, varying your route.  Spend a few minutes looking out the window. 

Opt for a healthy lunch with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.  Avoid fast food that is high in fat, salt, and sugars. 

Experience the calm that comes by dripping some cold water on your wrists. 

Take some time near the end of the work day to organize and plan for the next work day.  This helps increase your ability to be productive “tomorrow.” 

Manage your schedule and your commitments.  Say yes to the best, and no to the rest.

Prioritizing might mean pruning.  Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” offers a time matrix and other strategies to help you get the job done.

Relax after work.  Do some breathing exercises.  Take a few minutes of “me” time to clear your head.  Help your brain switch gears:  do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle; listen to classical music or a recorded book; get outside, take another walk, or do some other physical activity.  Here in North Dakota, that might mean shoveling snow.

If we find ourselves often saying, “I have to _____,”  procrastination may enter in and become our habit.  It’s time to reassess what we are doing and make some changes.  We can’t change the wind, but we can adjust our sails.

Many of us feel like we are being pulled in too many directions.  “Overdone: Practicing Wellness in Busy Families” is a resource for you from NDSU Extension that gives you tools and tips to evaluate your family’s schedule and overall wellness.  It takes a look at the multi-dimensions of wellness:  emotional, financial, environmental, physical, social, spiritual, and intellectual.  Contact me if you are interested in this resource.

Additional stress buster suggestions are available from NDSU Extension at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/boomers and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/nourishingboomers/ as well as at http://www.visualistan.com/2016/10/50-ways-to-relax-without-spending-money.html#postimages-2

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/skip/ (downloaded 12/19/17)

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