Life is a balancing act (in a three-ring circus, it can sometimes seem – whether at home, at work, or, yes, most times, both!). The change of seasons means a flurry of new activities and schedules, plus holiday planning, entertaining and shopping bearing down.
Well, take a breath. With a growing checklist comes a need for more balance. While easier said than done, balance helps you hit the pause button, recognize and reflect on what’s most important, what you need (and what you want) – and find bliss amid the mayhem. It can also help you gain and maintain some control over those situations that stress you out, from family drama around the holiday table to playing catch-up on last-minute gifts.
- Count to 10 before you react to something that bugs you. Better yet, inhale deeply through the nose, and breathe out slowly through the mouth to a count of 10. It’s amazing how that simple practice can slow you down. You can also do it anywhere (even when behind the wheel).
- Create a list and check it twice. Writing things down gives you a point of reference, and helps make sure you stay “on task,” whether it’s for a card or gift list, or planning a menu.
- Don’t run on empty. Re-charge (and boost your metabolism) with seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
- Eat healthier. Include more veggies, lean meats, fresh fruits, and whole grains in the mix.
- Exercise regularly. Do it for 30 minutes, five times a week to stay fit, lower cortisol (a stress hormone) levels and release feel-good endorphins.
- Laugh a lot! It’s a fun stress-reducer, too.
- Learn to prioritize and say “no.” You can’t do it all; just recognizing this will take some of the pressure off. (It’s also okay to ask for help if you need it.)
- Make time for You. Walk away from the cell phone and computer, and leave work at work. It’ll keep. Grab a book, find your corner and sip something soothing.
Put your health at the top of your to-do list this season (and always)!
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano
Visit www.mayoclinic.org for more info.