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

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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

Manage Your Stress with These Five Easy Techniques

It’s no secret that stress can have harmful effects on our bodies and minds, but unfortunately for most of us, it’s simply unavoidable.  So what can you do?  Try one or more of the following techniques to help you manage it.

1.  Keep a Journal

Journaling is a helpful tool for managing stress.  Here are a few of the reasons:

  • It provides an opportunity for quiet reflection about your feelings and emotions so that you can sort out, clarify and better understand them.
  • It provides a private outlet for expressing difficult emotions, such as anger and frustration, without hurting someone you love.
  • It can help to release your negative thoughts and emotions so that you can move on to a happier, less stressed state of mind.
  • Writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, therefore reducing the impact of the stressors on your physical health.
  • It boosts your immune system, which helps your body to withstand the effects of further stress.

To get started, decide whether you’d like to use pen and paper or your computer. If you prefer your computer, try on online journaling platform like Penzu.  Next, find somewhere quiet and comfortable, where you won’t be interrupted for 10-20 minutes.  To begin your journal entry, write the date, and then simply write whatever comes to mind! There are no set rules. Forget about punctuation, grammar and spelling.  If you need more structure, here are some things to write about: Continue reading