8 Healthy Ways to Unwind at Night

 

After a long, busy day, you can’t wait to get home and relax.  When you finally walk through the door, you’re ready to kick off your shoes, get comfortable, and leave the tensions of the day behind.

Unfortunately, many common choices for de-stressing are not in the best interest of your health and wellness and don’t contribute to managing stress in the long run. Watching mindless tv while eating snacks straight from the bag or having a drink or two may feel relaxing at the moment, but provide no lasting benefits and may do more harm than good.  If you want to find ways to unwind that prioritize your well-being, here are 8 ideas to try:

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1. Play a game

Dust off your favorite board game or a deck of cards and get some friends or family members to join you for this fun way to reduce stress.  Playing a game gives you the opportunity to connect with others, have fun, and combat stress in a healthy way.

2. Learn something new

Learning opportunities are everywhere, and they’re often inexpensive or even free. Try Duolingo to learn a language, Coursera for a variety of college courses, sites like Skillshare or Craftsy for more creative pursuits, or sign up for a class in your community.  Learning new things is exercise for your brain and can contribute to increased happiness and well-being. Continue reading

3 Powerful Phrases That Will Change a Negative Mindset

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Have you ever found yourself stuck in a pattern of negative thinking?  Maybe you’re angrily ruminating over your endless list of household chores because you feel like the only one who cleans up in your house, or your mind is working overtime trying to figure what could possibly be causing the person in front of you to be driving so darn slow.
We all have negative thoughts now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s important to allow yourself to acknowledge and accept them from time to time. However, spending too much time stuck in negative thought patterns can affect your mood and even your health, so it’s essential to have some techniques to help you shift gears.
If you find yourself burdened by frequent negative thoughts, try one or all of these phrases to help you change your mindset:

Continue reading

5 Surprisingly Simple Morning Habits with Amazing Benefits

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Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning?  Maybe you hit the snooze button several times before dragging yourself out of your nice, warm bed, or maybe you sleep through your alarm altogether.  I’ll admit,  I’m not really much of a morning person. Waking up to this cold, rainy Oregon weather makes me want to burrow under my covers and stay there until summer.

Since that’s not exactly realistic, I decided that I needed to find some easy ways to start my day with energy and excitement.  My morning routine consists of these 5 surprisingly simple habits with amazing benefits: Continue reading

How to Stick to Your Resolutions in 2017

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2017 is going to be a great year.  Your resolution is to get healthy, so you bought a gym membership, new workout clothes, and a giant tub of protein powder.  You’re ready!

You arrive at the gym and circle the parking lot for 10 minutes until you finally find a spot. You hurry inside, excited for your first spin class, but quickly discover that all of the bikes are taken.  You sigh, get on the only available treadmill, and force yourself to keep moving for 40 minutes.  It’s not fun, but once you’re done, you’ve worked up a sweat.  You decide to try your protein shake, but after one sip you wish you hadn’t bought that giant tub.  It’s terrible!

After a few weeks, your attendance at the gym is dropping off, and you only sporadically remember that you even set that resolution.  You’ll work out when the gym is less crowded.  Or maybe when the weather is nicer.

Sound familiar?  This scenario is common, but there’s something you can do about it!

Here are 5 steps to take to stick to your resolutions in 2017: Continue reading

15 Effortless Ways to Start Improving Your Wellbeing Today

Are you just starting out on a quest for better health and wellness?  If so, you might be struggling to figure out where to begin. It can be overwhelming to make sense of all the information out there about how to live a healthy life.

The good news is that you don’t need to have it all figured out before starting.  There are many simple things you can do that will make a difference.  And with each small step you take, you’ll gain confidence to keep moving forward.

Here are 15 effortless ways to get started right now: Continue reading

8 Benefits of Optimism and How to Increase Yours

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

It’s human nature to pay more attention to the negative things in our lives  than the positive – after all, it’s how our ancestors survived!  But while it may be natural to focus on our difficulties and the things in our lives that don’t go as planned, spending too much time stuck in those thoughts can lead to problems.  You may not be able to change the situations that arise, but you can learn to look at the bright side, and boost your happiness in the process! Continue reading

How You Can Boost Your Happiness with the Danish Concept of Hygge

hot-chocolate-1224044Denmark is consistently at the top of the United Nations World Happiness report.  In a country with often dreary weather and long, dark winter days, what’s their secret?

In a word:  hygge.  Pronounced “hoo-ga”, hygge doesn’t have an official translation, but refers generally to a feeling of coziness and contentment.  It’s about having a sense of well being and enjoying life’s simple pleasures, both by yourself and with the people that you care about, and it’s an integral part of Danish culture. Continue reading