All Entries For stress
Editor's Note: We know the holidays can be a busy time and that stress is a leading cause of emotional eating and other habits that can negatively impact your efforts to be healthy and happy. That's why SparkPeople is thrilled to share with you this blog post from the team at meQuilibrium.com, a site whose mission very closely aligns with our own. meQuilibrium helps you dial down the negative effects of stress by coaching you to take control of your thoughts, emotions and lifestyle habits with a unique online program.
Together SparkPeople and meQuilibrium are committed to making you healthier and happier, one step at a time. At the end of this post, you'll learn how to get a FREE 6-week unlimited access to meQuilibrium, including a special 30-day introductory stress-relief program, as a gift exclusively for SparkPeople members! Don't miss this limited-time offer!
You’re not a masochist, and yet, this time of year, you could possibly pass for one. You take on more than you could possibly do and aspire to even more. You raise your standards, your expectations, and your stress levels—all in the name of good cheer and a happy holiday.
What? Does it have to be like this? We don’t think so. You can change your experience of the holidays—but you have to aware of what you’re doing first. Let’s start with five things you’re doing to yourself that are making things way harder than they have to be. Read More ›
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 ›
Editor's Note: SparkPeople is thrilled to share with you this blog post from the team at meQuilibrium.com, a site whose mission very closely aligns with our own. meQuilibrium helps you dial down the negative effects of stress by coaching you to take control of your thoughts, emotions and lifestyle habits with a unique online program. The company was founded by Jan Bruce, best known for founding the company body+soul/whole living and the magazine of the same name. Chris "SparkGuy" Downie and our team has known Jan for quite awhile, and together we're committed to making you healthier and happier, one step at a time. At the end of this post, you'll learn how to get a FREE 6-week unlimited access to meQuilibrium, including a special 30-day introductory boot camp, as a gift from SparkPeople!
How much of your life do you spend waiting? Not just waiting in line, but biding your time, waiting for the right moment, the right opportunity, the right person to come along? How much of our time is spent waiting for your life to get better, or for it to just show up?
Leo Babauta, author of The Effortless Life and founder of zenhabits.net, asks this question in a recent post called "How to Wait Less." He writes: What if we stopped waiting, stopped trying to make dreams and goals come true, stopped wishing and anticipating? What if that good life is already here, and the only way to live it is to stop looking forward and notice what we already have?
Of course, there’s something great about anticipation—we love having something to look forward to, even if we hate waiting for it to arrive. While the anticipation of something better propels us forward and keeps us optimistic, there’s a definite downside: It takes us out where we are right now. If we’re not careful, we start to believe that the present is something to be tolerated, rather than enjoyed.
As any Buddhist worth his salt will tell you, all we have is now. This is it! The future is a figment, and our past is unchangeable. So, the best chance we have is to work with what’s right in front of us.
Sure, things could get better later (and in this economy, it’s what everyone’s banking on). Where and how you direct your attention and focus determines what your life feels like now. And isn’t that just as important?
Here are some ways to get plugged in to the present (the future will take care of itself): 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
Read More ›
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).
Read More ›
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.
Read More ›
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.
Read More ›
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.