“Just when you feel you have no time to relax, know that this is the moment you most need to make time to relax.” Matt Haig
Since the start of the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, stress and anxiety levels have been escalating. And with the holiday’s almost here, stress and anxiety could possibly go into “overdrive”. When this occurs, it is especially challenging to access healthy lifestyle tools to help reduce, or at least assist in managing our stress levels.
So my advice is stop reading this (yes I said stop) and stand up, take a few slow, deep breaths and smile. Doesn’t that feel wonderful. Now you can continue reading.
Ironically when we are stressed, we need more self-care, more self-compassion. Unfortunately, the opposite tends to happen; we neglect our own needs; often being very self-critical. Have you been struggling with: getting a restful night’s sleep, eating healthy, nutritious foods, being about the relax and enjoy some of the simple things in life such as playing with your kids or listening to music? If you said “yes”, you are not alone.
While I cannot guarantee any of these healthy lifestyle tips will have you jumping for joy, I can confidently say that if you are able to integrate a few of these fitness and wellness tips into your daily routine should help you to relax; leading to having a positive impact on your overall energy and self-contentment level. Ultimately optimizing your health and happiness!
- Take at least 10 minutes a day for yourself/alone time doing something you love and enjoy.
- Move every 20 to 30 minutes (even if just for 1 minute): 5 great moves to reduce stress while sitting or standing.
A. Chair Twist: Sit up straight in your chair and turn upper body to the right while holding on to the side of the chair. Hold the twist for about 5 seconds and repeat 5 to 10 times. Repeat on another side.
B. Overhead Stretch: Arms overhead with elbows close to your ears, interlace fingers and leaning to right side and hold for 10 seconds then to the left.
C. Tricep Extension: Optional holding an object, such as a water bottle. Raise arms overhead with elbows close to your ears, bending at the elbow bend forearms behind your head. This should feel great.
D. Knee Raise: Sitting in your chair raise either one or both knees up and hold. Start with 3 to 5 seconds and increase duration of the hold
E. Shoulder Pinch: Imagine a pencil between your shoulder blades, squeeze and imagine holding a pencil between your shoulder blades.
- Get a good night’s sleep: This is so important for your health…this is when your body recharges itself. There are some great meditation videos on You Tube to help you fall asleep. Turn off all technology 60 minutes before going to sleep.
- Frequent hand washing: Since we tend to overextend ourselves, we are more susceptible to getting sick. This is the # 1 strategy to staying healthy.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water; when possible infuse with fresh fruit to both improve the flavor and it is a nice way to get additional antioxidants.
- Eat healthy whole foods… do not skip meals: Try to maintain a healthy diet and do not starve yourself. Choose healthier whole food options when possible.
- Reflect on the positive everyday: Before you get out of bed reflect on at least one thing you are thankful for; it could be simply that you are alive and breathing. Then at night reflect on something that happened during the day you are grateful for. By being conscious of what you are “thankful for” it will increase the likelihood it will happen again – This is part of the Law of Attraction
- Get outside and get some fresh air.
- Do something nice for someone else: This could simply be reaching out to someone you have been thinking about to let the know.
- Smile: Research has shown that simply smiling has a positive impact on our health and reducing momentary stress.
Staying happy and healthy has been a challenge for 2020 but not impossible. The holidays will certainly be different this year. Taking care of yourself is a must. It is not selfish; it is critical for both your emotional and physical health. For more customized, effective healthy lifestyle actions that will work for you please reach out to me, Nancy Rozina at [email protected]