Are you wondering if things will ever get better? A little overwhelmed by the daily news? Here are 7 low-cost things you can do to take control of your stress and bounce back.
1. Consider a mini-vacation: Go online to your local Chamber of Commerce or Visitor’s Bureau and discover the world within a few hours drive from you. Or check out TripAdvisor.com Are there any parks, botanical gardens, caves, beaches, or natural wonders nearby? A two-day trip won’t break the budget and it will transport you to another world for a much-needed rest.
2. Take a micro-vacation: In the midst of a strenuous training week, I scheduled a mini-facial at the Serenity Spa in Hawaii. It lasted less than an hour, and felt like a full day off. When I was done, I was ready to take on the world again.
3. Change the music: If you pay attention to your body, you know which music soothes your soul. It’s different for everyone. A song might remind you of a happier time, or a person you love. Take note of songs that relax you and songs that lift you up. Fill your iPod or a CD with those songs. If you need to chill out, play the relaxing music. If you need a hit of energy, play the uplifting songs.
4. Increase your exercise by 15 minutes each week: Too often we try to go from zero to 60 in our exercise routine. Start by doing stretches every day. Watch your pets, they can show you how. Simple arm and leg stretches will give you energy. Then walk for 15 minutes. Or go dancing for an hour. Commit to at least 4 short exercise times the first week. Add 15 minutes the next week, and the next. Soon you will have an exercise routine, and your stamina and energy will return. And, the secret benefit? Science thinks exercise keeps Alzheimers at bay!
5. Laugh! Laughter increases your endorphins and neurotransmitter activity, and decreases cortisol and adrenaline levels. The more you can laugh, the stronger your immune systems. Dr. Richard Restak calls laughter “an internal massage.” Your muscles and heart get a great workout, and you’re more relaxed afterwards. And, if you laugh, the people around you will laugh with you. It’s a Public Service!
6. Dial in some Perspective: The email going around showing our boys and girls in Iraq living in foxholes, drinking from their helmets, and sleeping on dusty desert roads is a sobering reminder that no matter how bad your problems, there are some people out there who are voluntarily putting their lives at risk for our freedoms. Use the FREEDOM you’ve been given, and find another solution to your challenges.
7. Bring in the Troops: Positive friends are the best medicine. Research shows that women’s oxytocin levels go up when we are with other female friends. Oxytocin is the neuropeptide that increases our sense of connectedness and well-being. Guard against negative friends, though. Cynicism can poison the spirit and make recovery more difficult. Gently move them away with, “I love you, and I have to go now!”
You can do this. Don’t give up. Nurture yourself and your friendships. Take it one breath at a time. Hug a baby; help someone else; love yourself enough to know that you are enough. It’s a little hairy out there, but we’ll make it through.
All the best,
Beth and the Team
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.”
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
© 2009 Beth Terry Seminars, Inc.