All Entries For stress
Stress comes in infinite forms, and this time of year, it's hitting us on all sides. Be pro-active and take steps to reduce your stress level, integrating some of these products into your daily routine. Whether you give these to someone you love or treat yourself, we think you'll start to enjoy the holiday season a little more!
New Acupressure Roller Wood Foot Massager Stress Relief: We have thousands of nerve endings in the bottoms of the feet, so it's no wonder that a foot rub feels so good, especially at the end of a long day! When there's no one around (or no one willing around) to give your feet a rubdown, grab one of these and start rolling. Your feet thank you in advance.Read More ›
Get ready for a shocker. You may have heard that anything you eat after 8 p.m. immediately turns into extra pounds. But it’s not true. When you eat isn’t the key. How much you eat is.
Too many calories, whether they’re consumed in the morning, afternoon or night will equal weight gain. However, it is best to spread your calories throughout the day. That’s because food is meant to be used for energy—energy you need more during the day while shuttling your kids to practice as opposed to the night when you’re sleeping. Still nervous about eating so close to lights out? Follow these tips to calm your head and curb your hunger. Read More ›
Whether your tension is small-time or big-league, unwind with our smartest stress-less advice from the past 75 years.
Instant Tension Zappers
1 | Take three deep breaths—5 seconds in, 5 seconds out—to slow your heart rate and the pace of your stress hormones. April 2010
2 | Copy a cat: Stretch and then shake it out. February 1963
3 | Sing a favorite song. You'll breathe more fully and the increased oxygen will do your body good. May 2000
4 | Hang your head forward as if it were a heavy ball, then move it slowly to the side, back, side and front. Repeat. Circle around twice in the opposite direction. July 1975
5 | Sit up straight. When your shoulders are back, you open up your chest and breathe more freely. April 2010
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Tai Chi has become an increasingly popular form of exercise for all age groups, but current research has shown how it can be especially beneficial for older individuals. This graceful sequence of gentle, flowing movement combines physical postures with mindful focus, making it a great fit for those who find other forms of exercise too strenuous.
But Tai Chi isn't only used for relaxation purposes--it may also be a useful exercise for those working toward weight loss. In a study that observed obese postmenopausal women, the subjects that participated in three 45-minute Tai Chi classes a week lost similar amounts of body fat as the diet-only group, but maintained greater muscle mass (meaning that the group lost less muscle or fat-free mass as a result of dieting).
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Last week I wrote about the trials of moving my 90 year old father-in-law from independent living, to a hospital to rehab and finally to his new home an assisted living facility not too far from where I live. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions and decisions and it can be tough to not feel as though the whole world is caving in around you. But as with every obstacle in life, when we face them head on, we usually come out stronger than we did before we were hit with them.
It's tough when you are being pulled in a million different directions and what seems like little time to get everything done. When one is working against the clock, this can only exacerbate the stress levels, which is why routine is such an important part of my life. Unfortunately, decisions have to be made and they don't always align with my schedule, but I have come up with some tips to keep me on board until I weather the storm. Read More ›
Even the professionals who dole out advice on how to handle anxiety and worry aren't immune to daily pressures. The difference is, when these "stress-perts" encounter bumps in the road (piles of dirty clothes or an irate boss or kids repeatedly asking what's for dinner) they know how to tackle the problem while staying calm. Try their tricks and you too can keep your cool.
Expert Stressor: Morning Madness
"Getting myself, and my two kids, dressed and out of the house in the morning can get very chaotic!"
—Patricia Martin Arcari, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Calm Mother, Happy Child Program at Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and the mother of two girls, ages 10 and 12.
Patricia's Stress-Solving Action Plan:
Get organized at night. My daughters and I set aside a half hour before bed to make sure that homework is done, lunches are packed and schoolbags are by the door. The girls also pick their outfits, which gives us a heads-up if, say, a matching shoe or sock is missing.
Try not to yell. There's no need to further increase your blood pressure and stress cortisol levels in the morning. When I'm about to lose it, I take four slow, deep breaths and concentrate on keeping the volume of my voice in check. Read More ›
Two years ago I lost my mother-in-law to liver cancer. From diagnosis to her passing we had less than 8 weeks to prepare for her death. It has been a very trying two years as my husband and I have spent countless hours teaching my father-in-law to carry on without her. My in-laws had a very traditional marriage.She took care of everything in the home--laundry, cooking, bills, appointments, you name it, she did it. But her passing forced us all to change. My father-in-law had to learn to do what she had done for him for well over 65 years.
This past Easter my father-in-law fell at home and fractured his greater tuberosity-the bone at the top of your arm. The break was so severe that if I had done the same thing it would have required surgery. However, because my father-in-law takes Coumadin (often referred to as a blood thinner) and his age (90), complications from surgery far outweighed the time it will take to allow the bone to heal naturally on its own.
Let me tell you, this has taken us on a fast a furious ride. He was admitted to the hospital for a few nights before being transferred to a rehab facility late last week. The social worker we have been working with told us because of this injury and a history of two previous falls, he should not live alone. We now have to take the next step into moving him into an assisted living facility. And we are learning so much. Read More ›
Let’s face it; we all have outside influences that affect us every day of our lives. I know I do. Daily, sometimes hourly, there seem to be obstacles that just get in the way of my journey.
I want to share with you a very personal situation that affected my journey in a very negative way.
At the end of the summer of 2011, I started a new job. This job was something that I’d set out to attain several months before. I spent several hours in phone conversations with the management of this company. Many of these phone calls happened very early in the morning--good thing I’m an early riser! This job was everything I wanted. I would be working for a company I’ve had a relationship with for several years. I would be working from home, and talking to people, helping them to improve their own understanding of how business operated and how I could help make it better. These are all things that I wanted and, quite frankly, things that I am good at. I was told it could take several years to fully learn all the different software adaptations available within this company and I was willing to move as fast as I could to learn it all. Read More ›
My husband is a self-admitted work-a-holic. Before kids, he would easily put in 12-14 hour days at work, and continue getting calls, pages, emails, etc. after he got home. Fortunately a lot of that has changed since we had kids, but he’s still someone who works a lot because he’s passionate about his job and loves what he does. However, he might be the exception rather than the rule.
I have friends who put in very long hours because their job demands it. They like their jobs, but wouldn’t necessarily say they “love” them. They work so many hours because there’s just so much to get done. It’s stressful for those who have kids and are trying to balance work and family, but it’s also stressful for those who don’t because they still want to have a work-life balance. I’ve had long talks with a few of these friends because their job situations are stressful and to a certain extent, make them sad. The results of a new study seem to validate the idea that working long hours is tied to higher rates of depression. Read More ›
When it comes to succeeding at weight loss, knowing what to do is only half the battle. The real challenge is sticking with your healthy lifestyle in the midst of all the other responsibilities you have on your plate. Even with hard work and self-discipline, it's easy to get tripped up by pitfalls like emotional eating, waning motivation, and erratic weight fluctuations without a good game plan.
On your road to weight loss, you will encounter a few major triggers that I like to call the three Os—overwhelm, overload, and overeating. The first two Os-- overwhelm and overload-- both create incredible challenges for new habits and lifestyle changes by triggering the third O--overeating. When you are stressed, your biochemistry makes you hungry. When you don’t take the time to care for yourself in other ways, food can tempt you as an easy-to-reach stress relief, or a way to “energize” and keep going.
Here’s what you need to know.
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Stress is something that everyone encounters at least once in their lifetime, and some may experience it more than others. Some people are also able to manage their stress levels well, while others have a difficult time in dealing with it. Let's face it, while the holidays are meant to be a joyous part of the year, stress is rampant during this time as well, and many of us experience even more stress than usual! With all the parties and events that you need to attend, shopping that needs to be done, entertaining out-of-town guests, etc. , you may find yourself running out of time to get things done, including your workouts. I've rounded up a variety of resources to help you learn about stress and combat/relieve your stress in healthy ways. I hope that you will be able to use some of these rescources to de-stress during the holidays (and after they are long gone), especially if you have ever felt like the woman in the picture.
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I’ve never been someone who likes a lot of “stuff”. If you look in my closet, you’ll see most of the same clothes and shoes year after year. If I have things I don’t need or don’t use, I try to give them away. I don’t keep two of something just in case I might need it someday. But I still have a lot of work to do. If you look around my house, you’ll see that it’s not as simple and clutter-free as it could be. This is something I plan to focus on over the next year. Read More ›
Yes, we at FITNESS love a great early-morning workout. But we also know about the importance of a good night's sleep, and not just because sleep deprivation is tied to weight gain. Here, the most interesting health facts that warn against burning the candle at both ends. Pace yourself, people.
If you're sleep-deprived before getting your flu shot, it can take three to four weeks for the vaccine to kick in. Those who don't get appropriate rest have a weaker immune system, which hinders the vaccination's effectiveness.
Throughout much of my teens and 20s, I was restless. I felt off-center, anxious, askew. I took medication for anxiety, wasted countless hours worrying, and generally didn't enjoy my life nearly as much as I do now.
Today, I am genuinely happy, well-adjusted, and relatively calmer. The difference now is that my boundless energy is positive rather than anxious.
What changed? Several things.
As I aged and experienced more of life, I learned how to cope better. I didn't need to freak out if something "bad" happened. I didn't need to take on other people's drama as my own. And I didn't need to allow negative energy free access to me.
I realized that life is just that: life. Ups, downs, good, bad, it's all just life. It all balances out, and letting every little bump in the road sideline me is no way to live.
My senior year of college, a dear friend of mine shared a quotation with me: "The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware." --Henry Miller.
Then, its meaning escaped me. Now, it's one of my guiding mantras.
Recently, I emailed an old friend who lives on the other side of the country. "I feel so centered and strong," I wrote. My friend asked me to clarify what I meant by "centered." To explain, I retraced my steps over the last couple of years. Many of the changes I've made were solidified by my 30th birthday trip to Honduras, a week spent with no contact with anyone back home, lots of yoga, and the infinite beauty of nature. There, amid days of reflection, I made a list of what has worked to help me feel calmer, more centered, and happier with my life. Read More ›
I am a planner.
I love lists.
I schedule everything.
I'm busy. It's the only way I get everything done.
In high school, I kept a list of everything I wore, so I wouldn't repeat an outfit too often. (My 16-year-old self would be aghast to know that my 30-year-old self often sometimes wears the same dress twice in one weekend.)
I make notes of the meals I eat in my planner, along with my workouts, any personal commitments, etc.
This summer in Honduras, with no phone, no watch, and no schedule, I somehow found ways to indulge my inner planner. My roommate, Jessi, and I took walks every afternoon. Each night, I would ask her what she wanted to do the next day, mostly as a way to make conversation.
She good-naturedly made plans with me each night. Finally, after a few days, she laughed.
"We're in paradise," she said, gesturing at the lush rainforest that surrounded us. "And we have nothing to do."
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