Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I was just thinking that Spring is approaching (although you wouldn't know it here) and that Groundhog Day is next week. I can hardly believe it. This winter seems to be a long one for many people. Snow, snow and more snow and bitter cold temperatures have hit the U.S., Canada and Europe hard. Where I live, this winter's snowfall is sure making up for the past two winters when we had it pretty good.
The cold days, the short days, the snow and ice all make for depressing times for a lot of us. Here are five quick ways to kind of "shake it off" and get out of those winter doldrums:
1. Take a walk. Or do any type of exercise really. Exercise releases endorphins and and tends to make us happier and calmer.
2. Take a breath. Practice some breathing exercises. Breathing properly helps in two ways: it gets more oxygen into the body and it tends to relax muscles and both of these help reduce stress.
3. Take a mental break. Our minds tend to race so fast. We think and overthink. If we can just set aside a few minutes and perhaps use some mental imagery or guided visualizations or even meditation, ahhh... now that is relaxing and stress reducing.
4. Reframe your situation. Perhaps we can put a stressful situation into a different perspective, come at it from another direction. As Dr. Wayne Dyer puts it, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change". Profound!
5. Try progressive muscle relaxation. This is where you tense and release all your muscle groups, leaving your body so much more relaxed afterward.
In the good old days when we were kids, there were many things we did to reduce stress and sometimes we have forgotten about them. Here are 10 stress relievers from our "Inner Child":
- Have a nap
- Getting a hug from a loved one
- Playing with a pet
- Playing games
- Drawing, painting, sculpting
- Writing notes
- Playing team sports
- Imagining the future
Sometimes it is good for us to try and contact that "Inner Child" and perhaps have a heart-to-heart talk with him/her. This child may have something important to tell us. I would imagine the main point of the talk from the child would be to "slow down". And as this music video by Natasha Beddingfield says:
Wake up smell the roses
Life is happening and you don't know it
Wake up, take a moment
Grab it in your hands... and own it
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Hmmm. Well, what have I been up to lately? To tell the truth, not much. As far as SparkPeople, I have been logging my food every day and logging my other goals. My main thrill with SP over the past couple of weeks is reading all of your blogs. It's like getting letters from home, haha.
We seem to have been getting a snow storm every couple of days and the streets in the city have been very icy. I don't know why the city doesn't pre-treat and salt the streets better. Some of the side streets are like driving on washboards (our poor vehicles). We just got through another storm overnight and into today. The street plow just went by and the plow that does my driveway has been here. I just got in from cleaning the ice and snow on the car.
It's my Mom's birthday on Saturday. They will have a big cake for her at her special care home. She will love that. I hope to get there, but another storm is expected for Friday, so I'll have to wait and see. I visited her yesterday and she was in fine spirits! She has a form of dementia and doesn't remember one day from the next but she still knows me and likes people to visit.
I am not a snow person. But the nice thing, and what I think about, is that spring will soon be here. March is not that far away. I love the spring... it's my favourite season of the year. I like spring better than summer, which can be very hot and humid here. I don't like driving in the snow... I get very tense and nervous, not so much about my driving but having to watch for others who drive as if it's summertime.
I had some blood work done on Monday. I get a full batch of it done every year as a routine thing. I have an appointment with my doctor on January 31 to go over the results. We have been watching my blood sugar levels and my cholesterol levels. They have been inching higher over the years but I am still on no medications for them. This is another thing I love about SP. It gives me a great place to watch what I eat. And the groups on here are wonderful to get information and to make friends and to ask questions.
I'm about to give American Idol Season 10 a watch tonight. I followed it the first few seasons but not so much in the past as it hasn't been as good. In fact, I thought last season was terrible (what I saw of it and the finalists). Perhaps this season will be better, we'll see. I don't watch much television. I would rather listen to podcasts or music on my iPhone or read. There is not much on television that I like to watch. And all the news today is so negative, I avoid most of it. I also play games online and that whiles away the time.
I have to blog more. I started out with great intentions of blogging every day. I just don't have that much to write about to blog every day. But I'll try and put down a few notes more often. Take care friends!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Hello everyone. I've been a wee bit lax in blogging over the holiday season. But, I hope to get back on track. Over the holidays, I came to realize what many have written about and that is the effects of the words, "I should, I must and I ought to".
Why do these words so negatively impact our general mental health and well-being? When I look back over the holiday season to try and determine why my positivity and drive were low, I began to think about how many times I said to myself, "I should do this" or even worse, "I MUST do this". Using these words can certainly put pressure on you and bring you down.
I found that every day I said, "I should really get to work and do this" or "I must get this ready by 5 pm" or "I ought to send a card to her even though I only send cards to close relatives". Then I would stew over it and let it swim around in my brain until I really became stressed out about it.
Obviously, there are things you "have" to do. Paying bills, shopping for groceries, getting gas for the car. But, having to do something is much different than filling your mind with the shoulds, the musts and the ought to's. These are most often optional words. They are designed to get you anxious and depressed if you let too many of them sink into your subconscious and mull around there.
These types of words sap your energy, your drive and your fun. These are not positive words. They are the ugly, negative words that none of us need to have. I know I have to watch using them or I become overwhelmed quickly.
I had a nice Christmas with my Mom and the residents at her special care home. I went out on Christmas morning and stayed for a long time. She will be 94 in January and, except for her failing memory, she is doing pretty good and often says she wants to live to 100. She has a wonderful, positive attitude and I know her outlook of taking one day at a time has gotten her to this wonderful age.
So I say, eliminate all of the shoulds, musts and ought to's from your life (or as many as you can) and live with my Mom's attitude of "living for the day". Positivity like hers sure as heck beats the negative stuff every time!
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