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All Entries For stress

5 Easy Ways to Better Value Your Time


Everyone on the planet has one incredible thing in common.  Every week, we are each given 168 hours to do what we please, to create and share our worlds, to make choices that decide our future, and to fill our hearts up with what makes them beat with excitement.  What wakes us up in life and how we spend our time are one in the same. 
 
The time I have today, teaching yoga and building a new business, is completely different than when I worked a 9-to-5 gig.  My goals with practicing yoga and writing balance each day, as well as my love for CrossFit and Pilates.  I like having a full plate at the beginning of each day and slowly clearing it as the day goes along.  Except for on weekends, where I don’t do any "work" at all (only occasionally subbing for yoga classes). 
 
My goal is to end each day with the satisfaction that it was well spent.  I want to be able to sit back, enjoy a glass of red wine, and know that I contributed to something bigger than myself.  Knowing this, over the past couple of years I have developed ways to utilize my time to its fullest.  These five tips speak to me, and hopefully to you as well. 
Posted 3/30/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 22 comments   22,833 views
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7 Quick Mood Boosters


Brighten your spirits in no time flat with these easy tricks.

Reach for the sky
 
Get on your feet, look to the ceiling and stretch your arms straight up, spreading your fingers. "The simple act of standing prompts a boost in circulation, delivering oxygen- and energy-rich blood to your cells," explains psychotherapist Kimberly Willis, PhD, author of The Little Book of Diet Help: Expert Tips and Tapping Techniques to Stay Slim for Life. And smile as you hold the stretch: It will trigger the release of feel-good brain chemicals. 
Posted 1/14/2013  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 12 comments   12,491 views
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5 Minutes to Less Stress


Are you feeling tense? Do you suffer from back pain or stiffness? Whether you're an experienced yogi or a fitness newbie, whether you can touch your toes or are very inflexible, this 5-minute yoga-inspired stretching routine can help you unwind anytime of day or night.

You don't need any equipment, and, as long as you have a floor you can kneel on, you don't even need a yoga mat. Since it's just five minutes, you can even do this in your regular clothes.

If you're spending a lot of time in the car this holiday season, give this routine a try! For your convenience, I not only provide detailed instructions below, but I also created a printable, downloadable, pinnable graphic for you (scroll down!)

Child’s pose:

Starting in a kneeling position.
 
Keep your knees together but separate the feet and allow your bottom to rest on the floor. Roll your calves away from your thighs (use your hands) to help you get comfortable.

For a deeper stretch:
Sit back on your heels, shins together, tops of the feet pressing onto the mat. (Place a rolled-up towel between your heels and hips to ease this stretch.)

From here, start to lower to the floor. Your belly will rest on or between your thighs, and your forehead will reach towards the mat. (Place a towel or a yoga block under your forehead if it won't reach the floor.

Stretch the arms alongside the body, with the fingertips facing the toes, to stretch between the shoulder blades.

TIP: Roll your forehead back and forth across the mat with your arms along your sides to help alleviate sinus congestion.
Posted 12/20/2012  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 9 comments   27,379 views
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7 Ways to Ward Off Holiday 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.

Posted 11/29/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 11 comments   10,231 views
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Tai Chi: Relaxation Technique and Weight-Loss Aid


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). 
Posted 7/5/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Cathy Cram : 30 comments   14,979 views
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10 Tips to Stay on Track When Life Gets Tough


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.
Posted 5/15/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Nancy Howard : 66 comments   25,720 views
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The Stress of Managing Aging Parents


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.
Posted 5/8/2012  2:00:00 PM By: Nancy Howard : 57 comments   12,501 views
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Fighting the Negative Outside Influences


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.
Posted 4/2/2012  10:00:00 PM By: Jerome Merlau : 48 comments   8,627 views
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Long Hours on the Job Could Affect Your Happiness


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.
Posted 3/9/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 53 comments   12,945 views
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Is Your Weight Loss Puzzle Missing a Crucial Piece?


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.


Posted 2/8/2012  2:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 42 comments   46,503 views
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Everything You Need to Know about Stress Relief


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.

Posted 12/8/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Denise Tausig : 9 comments   8,546 views
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Living a Life of Simplicity


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.
Posted 12/6/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 52 comments   10,259 views
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6 Tips for Finding Peace and Staying Balanced


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.
Posted 10/5/2011  10:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 50 comments   16,148 views
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How This Type A Planner Spent a Weekend 'Doing Nothing'--and Loving It


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."
Posted 9/6/2011  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 36 comments   11,578 views
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Let Go of Your Life Raft--I Promise, You Won't Drown.


Last week just wasn't my week. Personally, professionally, emotionally, physically, I felt off. I was exhausted. I was stressed. I was miserable.
 
And for much of the week, I didn't tell anyone.
 
The week started off fine, but it quickly turned on me. One thing happened, then another, then  another. I tried to invoke the 90-second rule for dealing with emotions. I tried to breathe through it. I tried to use yoga to deal with it.
 
Nothing worked.
 
So I held it in.
Posted 8/1/2011  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 68 comments   11,689 views
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