5 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress In Your Life

5 healthy Ways to Reduce Stress

Feeling at the end of your rope with the never ending chaos of life? Here are 5 healthy ways to reduce stress in your life.

Stress is one of the most common health concerns. With busy schedules and a decreased ability to unplug from demands through technology, adults are more overworked and stressed out than ever. Occasional stress is normal, but frequent, long-term stress can interfere with your life and even take a toll on your health. Learn five ways to cope with stress to help stave off the negative effects.

Get Some Shut-eye

Women who get enough sleep are less likely to feel stressed out than those who run on fumes. A lack of sleep decreases your lack of judgment, increasing the likelihood of anger and frustration over minor occurrences. Unfortunately, catching up on sleep during the weekends is not enough: the Mayo Clinic recommends between seven and eight hours of sleep every night to maintain a more restful and positive state of mind. Also, feel free to take a short nap on an extra stressful day; you will likely wake up feeling more prepared to tackle problems. If you suffer from chronic stress-related insomnia, try this.

Learn to Relax

When you’re stressed out beyond belief, relaxing can seem impossible. However, regular periods of relaxation are the ticket to long-term stress management. Relaxing takes your mind away from the things that stress you out, and refocuses it to the present and how your body feels in the moment. Some popular relaxation techniques include meditation, aromatherapy, massage and yoga. There is no right or wrong way to relax—you can even spend five minutes a day closing your eyes at your desk.

Get Moving

Physical activity offers a range of benefits for your body, including your brain. It’s no surprise that athletes tend to have better mental health states than adults who are sedentary. Exercise increases brain function while also boosting your mood. When you do encounter stressful situations, you’re more likely to handle them better if you work out regularly. Ironically, exercising and frequent movement also makes it easier to relax and sleep at night, thereby reducing other triggers of stress.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a daily 30-minute walk may be enough to manage stress. Even a slow-paced walk can help, as long as you’re moving steadily. To gain the most consistent benefits of walking as exercise, make sure you walk 30 minutes every day. If you can’t block off 30 minutes at a time, break it up into smaller increments. Sitting down at a desk can increase sleepiness and moodiness, so make it a point to stand up and walk around at least once an hour.

Revisit Your Social Life

It’s difficult making time for social activities with a busy schedule. Aside from missing out on time spent with friends, socializing actually reduces stress. Conversations can act as an outlet for everyday frustrations, but this is also a good practice for your overall mental well-being. With that being said, it’s important to surround yourself with positive friends, co-workers and acquaintances—not those who will stress you out even more.

Staying in touch doesn’t necessarily have to translate to a social call. Reaching out to others for help when you’ve reached your limit can drastically improve anxiety. To battle long-term stress and feelings of the blues, try out a new activity. This can be something challenging, such as training for a marathon, or even a less strenuous activity like scrapbooking. Sharing a new hobby with others is a bonus.

Decrease Daily Responsibilities

One of the most common reasons why people are stressed is because they have too much on their plates. Cutting down on responsibilities may seem impossible, but it’s important to delegate obligations when you can. Doing so can leave you with more time to complete the other four stress-busting tips. Consider asking someone to help you with doing chores, making dinner, walking the dog or taking the kids out. Try not to feel guilty: you are trying to get healthier so you can be less stressed for your loved ones.

Reducing stress is the key to a more relaxed, joyful and healthy life. However, coping skills may prove futile unless you can first identify the triggers of stress. It may be helpful to keep a journal to identify when and why you become stressed.

If you implement these 5 ways to reduce stress and you still feel overwhelmed, reach out to a mental health professional for help.

5 Reasons Smart Women Drink Lemon Juice In The Morning

 Drink Lemon Juice In The Morning

A lemon a day keeps the doctor away. Maybe so, if you drink lemon juice in the morning.

One of the best ways to improve your overall health is drinking lemon water. It’s very easy to get into the routine of drinking warm lemon water every morning, and it’s a habit that will change your health for the better. Most people notice a difference within the first month.

The refreshing taste will help you wake up in the morning while boosting your digestion system. In case you didn’t know, lemons are crammed full of fibers, antioxidants, enzymes, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamins C and B.

Your daily routine can build up your body’s defenses or break them down. Drinking lemon juice in warm water is an excellent choice, and there are five major reasons to make this a daily habit.

Reduced Inflammation

If you’re someone who suffers from inflammation, then you need to start drinking lemon juice every day. By drinking lemon juice in warm water on a daily basis, you’ll be able to decrease the level of acidity inside of your body.

Many diseases thrive in acidic environments. Lemon juice also removes the uric acid in joints, and this acid is a major cause of inflammation. A lot of people use lemon juice as a far better alternative to coffee.

Stronger Immune System

A cup of warm lemon water helps to make your breath fresher, but it also boosts your immune system. It’s a fact that lemon juice contains a generous amount of vitamin C, which is responsible for strengthening your body’s immune system.

If you want to avoid coming down with the flu and common cold, then you need to make sure your immune system is strong. Iron is another important mineral that your body requires, and lemon juice makes it easier for your body to absorb iron.

Increased Hydration

At some point in your life, you’ve probably had someone try to explain the importance of adequate hydration. While you should strive to stay properly hydrated at all times, it’s even more important to remain hydrated during summer.

Plain water is the best fluid you can drink for proper hydration, but a lot of people find that it’s quite boring, so they don’t drink enough. Lemon juice makes plain water far more interesting, so you’re more likely to drink a lot of it, which means you’re far more likely to stay hydrated.

Makes Your Skin Look Better

Another benefit of drinking lemon water every day is healthier skin. Studies show that lemon juice is known to contain a wide range of antioxidants. These compounds are capable of decreasing blemishes and wrinkles.

A lot of natural cures say to apply lemon juice to age spots and scars because it helps to reduce the appearance of these issues. By detoxifying your blood, lemon juice is able to make your skin look much better while reducing the appearance of age spots and scars.

There is also research that shows vitamin C is capable of decreasing blemishes and wrinkles, and lemon juice contains a healthy amount of this vitamin. Lemon water has the ability to purge toxins from your blood, which helps skin stay clear and beautiful.

Cleanse Your Body

According to some of the latest research, lemon water has the ability to flush toxins from your body. It’s capable of preventing the buildup of toxins. It’s understood that toxins damage the cells in your body, so it’s important to reduce toxin buildup as much as possible.

Toxins can also cause damage to your organs and tissues. By stimulating your liver and forcing it to work more efficiently, lemon water helps to cleanse your body. Another way that lemon water cleanses the body is through its diuretic effect.

The diuretic effect ensures your body has a clean urinary tract and prevents toxin buildup. A glass of lemon water can also change the pH levels in your body, which greatly discourages bacteria growth. Lemons are known to help flush bodily waste while cleansing the colon and digestive tract.

These are five major reasons to start drinking lemon water every single day. A simple and quick recipe involves one half of a lemon squeezed into a full cup of warm water. For a larger batch, all you have to do is multiply this quick recipe.

Tips For Self Employed Entrepreneurs Who Want To Be Healthy

15 branded blog image 5-4Being self-employed makes it 100 times easier to stick to a workout.

Now you have much more control over your time and you will be much more able to choose when you want to work and when you want to relax, or exercise.

The problem is, if you aim to finish early at the end of the day and workout then, you will almost always find that it never actually happens. The problem is, you’ll still get tired and once you get into the ‘flow’ you’ll find it’s almost impossible to break out of it and to return later on while being just as productive.

Working out first on the other hand, means you’ll have more energy and a better mood as you work. It’s just a matter of being disciplined enough to convince yourself to do so.

Here are some tips for self employed entrepreneurs that can help.

Set Everything Up the Night Before

One way to help yourself workout before you start work is to set up your gym kit etc. the night before. The aim here is to create the minimum barrier between you and the gym so that there’s no effort involved other than the workout itself. Setting things up the night before means you can just grab your bag and go and that helps a lot.

Make Your Workout Fun

If you’re going to convince yourself to workout first thing in the morning then it can help a great deal to do a workout that you actually find fun. Working out can be fun – and especially if you do something like rock climbing or sparring with a heavy bag.

Find a workout that you enjoy and don’t worry too much about your strict goals – they’ll come with time as long as you put in the effort.

Oh and your workouts don’t have to be super long either. Ten minutes is better than nothing if that’s all you have!

Join a Nearby Gym

Which gym do you join?

The nearest one. It’s as simple as that. This way you’ll save a ton of time and feel much more inclined to workout. And if you don’t have a nearby gym, then you should workout from home.

Stress

If you’re struggling to workout at all, then you should bear in mind that the problem is most likely linked with stress or your energy levels. It may just mean you’re taking on too much work, in which case: try to tune it down a bit!

How to Eat Clean and Never Succumb to Chronic Stress

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It may seem surprising, but eating the wrong foods can contribute to stress. Read on to find out what you should be eating to combat stress.

The foods that you eat actually have a huge impact on how stressed out you are. The more junk you eat, the harder your body has to work in order to process that food and the less energy it can glean from it, which stresses your system out. When you eat clean, however, the food that you eat efficiently and effectively fuels your body and makes you much more capable of fighting stress. Here’s how to eat clean and fight that chronic stress:

Cut Down on Processed Foods

What are processed foods? These can be admittedly difficult to identify. In short, a processed food is anything that has had artificial flavors added to it. These foods have been refined, preservatives have been added, or they have been manufactured in a lab. Even applesauce made with organic apples and no added sugars is considered processed because the apples have been altered from their original state. Not all processing is bad—but most processing is. Avoiding anything that’s been produced in a lab is one of the best ways to eat clean and reduce stress on your system.

Add in Fresh Fruit and Veggies

Even if you do eat some fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you’re probably not eating enough. Look for organic fruit and veggies and make sure they make up the majority of every meal and snack. Why is eating organic so important? If you can find certified organic (the term “organic” is not well regulated—any brand can smack it on their fruit or vegetables, only certified organic foods are guaranteed to be organic) fruit and vegetables, this means that they were raised without hormones or genetic modification.

Choose Farm Fresh Diary, Eggs, and Meat

You don’t have to cut out milk, eggs, chicken, pork, or steak, but you do have to look for products that are ethically raised. This means that they are fed foods that they would naturally find in the wild and that they are never given hormones or chemicals to make them grow faster or fatter. Usually anything with the label “farm fresh” or “certified organic” will meet these criteria.

Following these simple rules and cutting out junk and processed foods can seriously reduce the strain that your food puts on the body, which combats stress and makes you healthier.

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

14 Easy Ways To Lose Weight By Moving More Throughout The Day

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Increase the amount of energy you expend and lose weight! It’s easier than you think.  Just follow these 14 ways to lose weight by moving more during the day!

You know you have to burn calories to lose weight, but it can be difficult to find time in your busy schedule for more exercise. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to increase your energy expenditure without taking time away from other responsibilities.

Transform your regular daily routines by creating more opportunities to move around. Try these suggestions for cutting back on modern conveniences and increasing your mileage.

Cutting Back on Energy-Saving Devices

  1. Lose the remote. Watching TV can be less fattening. Walk across the room to change a channel instead of pushing a button. It also helps to reduce your viewing time.

     

  2. Cook from scratch. Your kitchen may be full of automatic devices like food processors and coffee machines. Try out some old-fashioned manual processes for mashing potatoes or crushing herbs. You may be delighted to find that you’re lowering your electricity bills as well as shrinking your waist.
     
  3. Wash up. Many items can be washed by hand including laundry, dishes, and cars. Your possessions may even last longer when you handle them more gently.
     
  4. Clean house. Traditional vacuum cleaners exercise your arms and legs. Stick your Roomba in a closet for a while. Scrub the kitchen floor on your hands and knees occasionally to catch the residue your mop leaves behind.
     
  5. Do yard work. Even if you need your landscaping company for big jobs, you can enjoy gardening on your own. Plant a patch of vegetables or flowers that you can tend.
     
  6. Build it yourself. Creativity and fitness go hand-in-hand when you tackle DIY projects and crafts. Create your own furniture or paint a mural on a wall in your garage.

Increasing Your Mileage

  1. Buy a pedometer. Adults often overestimate their level of activity. An inexpensive pedometer will clarify your starting point so you can plan ahead.
     
  2. Modify your commute. Walk, bike, or take public transportation to work. If you need to drive, park at a distance and walk the rest of the way.
     
  3. Switch bathrooms. It’s natural to choose the closest bathroom, but taking a detour adds up over time. Use a bathroom on another floor at work or walk to the opposite side of the shopping mall for that last stop before heading home.
     
  4. Make calls standing up. Take advantage of the hours you spend on the phone. Let your ringtone become a trigger to stand up and move around while you talk.
     
  5. Visit your coworkers. Drop in on your colleagues sometimes rather than communicating by phone or online. Increasing your face-to-face interactions may even encourage more cooperation and friendships.
     
  6. Adopt a dog. If your living arrangements permit, considering sharing your home with an animal who needs a loving family. Having a dog will probably bring you outside at least twice a day and help you stay motivated to exercise. Some cats will also enjoy walking on leashes if you train them early.
     
  7. Take the stairs. Make it a habit to climb the stairs instead of relying on elevators or escalators. Going upstairs is great exercise, but you may need to avoid trips downstairs if it places too much pressure on your knees.
     
  8. Designate a car-free day. Your lifestyle may make your car an essential, but you can start cutting back on the time you spend sitting behind the wheel. Pick a day each week or each month to travel by foot or public transportation.

Strengthen your heart, muscles, and bones while you lose weight. Increasing your energy expenditure enables you to stay in top condition even when you have limited time for the gym.

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Use This Friday Workout Routine To Jump Start Your Weekend

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Friday workout routines can add some health and fun to the start of your weekend.

When you take the decision to live healthy and eat healthy, the weekend can spell double trouble for your fitness routine and your diet. If, like me, you work at a desk Monday through Friday, you may try to overcompensate on your days off by walking ( or running) long distances or playing badminton ( or tennis, or racquetball)  for hours. It’s also common to eat more calories on weekends as you graze at the food court or go out to dinner.

But you can get your weekends off to a healthier start with a Friday workout routine that keeps you on track with reaching your fitness goals during the weekend when you may be tempted to slack off.  Use these easy and simple steps to stay on track from one week to the next.

Take These 7 Steps on Weekends

  1. Transform happy hour into a healthy hour.  If you usually grab pizza and beer with your co-workers before heading home on Fridays why not start a new tradition and transform your happy hour into a healthy hour? Try suggesting a visit to a gym or ice skating rink instead. That would be just as much fun and a whole lot healthier. It’s a really good way to get your weekend off to a great start!

     

  2. Take an exercise class ( e.g. Zumba).  Have you tried Zumba classes? if not, you dont know what you are missing.  It’s a LOT of fun, and a great week to incorporate a Friday workout routine before heading home on Fridays. Some exercise studios offer special classes on Friday evenings. Browse online to see what’s available in your neighborhood. Drop by a yoga center and ask if you can receive a discount for bringing in a group from work. Then you can organize a TGIF Workout for your colleagues that everyone would LOVE! To make it even MORE fun, have everyone keep an exercise journal and celebrate everyone’s accomplishments once a month, with rewards for the BEST progress and participation. 
     
  3. Pace yourself. One hour of chair exercises can be more effective than running a marathon depending on your condition. Overtraining weakens your muscles and immune system. Respect your limits.  Consistency is more important than the length of the workout.

     

  4. Try New Things. Weekends are a great time for trying new things. Give your desk treadmill a rest and spend Friday night swimming at a public pool. Take the family out for rock climbing or kayaking the next day. Spicing up your Friday workout routine with new things is a great way to stay motivated and jumpstart your weekend.
     
  5. Use zero-calorie incentives.  After dealing with the stresses and tension of the office meetings, deadlines and customer complaints all week, you definitely deserve a treat.  Stick to your TGIF workout routine and then plan to reward yourself over the weekend with movie tickets instead of bacon.
     
  6. Schedule activities with loved ones.  Spending time with loved ones is a MUST to live a balanced happy life, and weekends are ideal for scheduling healthy, fun activities.  If you usually gather for pancakes on Sunday morning, try gathering the family for yard work and gardening instead. It’s a great workout, lots of fun, and a great way to start the day and enjoy nutrition, relaxation and exercise in your backyard. After the yard work is done, celebrate with a hearty breakfast afterwards, which can include a oatmeal ( I love it with raisins), apple sauce, honey, rye bread,  fruits (papaya, cantaloupe, kiwi’s, bananas) , freshly squeezed orange juice, yogurt etc . If you usually go out for Italian food and a movie on Saturday nights, try spending the afternoon horseback riding, beach combing, swimming, or playing Wii games at home. You may enjoy your pasta even more when you work up an appetite!

     

  7. Go to bed on time.  I must admit…this one is tough for me.  I sometimes like to stay up late watchjing movies on Friday night as a way to unwind from a busy week.  Truth is, I always feel more motivated to work out when I give my body the rest it needs.  Don’t follow my example on this one. Aim for 8 hours sleep every night during the weekend instead of watching TV until the wee hours like I sometimes do. :-(

Take These 5 Steps During the Week

  1. Exercise regularly. I prefer to exercise for shoter periods of time each day, rathen than leave everything until the weekend.  20 minutes of exercise Monday thorugh Friday beats one long session on weekends. Your body will have more time to adapt and recover. Find a convenient time each day whether it’s early morning or your lunch hour.  For me, early mornings is perfect.  I make 20 minutes of walking a crucial part of my morning routine each day of the week, Monday to Friday.
     
  2. Keep moving. Any physical activity is helpful, so work more activity into you day throughout the day.  Every little bit helps and can make a difference in helping you build a stress-resilient, healthy body.  Stand up and stretch at least once an hour. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park as far away as possible and walk to your office.
     
  3. Manage stress. Chronic stress could be the reason you catch colds and struggle to maintain a healthy weight. Find relaxation practices that work for you. There are a wide variety of options you can choose from. Pick up copies of our Self Help Stress Solutions Books to discover how to use aromatherapy, gardening, walking, camping and other strategies to reduce stress in your life permanently.  You can take warm baths or read a novel before bed each evening. Book a massage or listen to soft music when you arrive home from work. The options are endless. Click here to join our stress management club and get access to 85% of our stress management resources.
     
  4. Adjust your commute. Travelling to and from work can be just as demanding as any tasks you perform at the office. Maybe you can ride your electric scooter to work instead of driving through rush hour traffic. Wherever you live, you can walk a few laps around the parking lot.
     
  5. Plan ahead. It’s easier to make healthy lifestyle choices when you figure out your obstacles and develop strategies for dealing with them. Bringing snacks to work can help you avoid the vending machines. Setting out your clothes in the evening can free up time to take a Tai Chi class in the morning.

You’ll thank goodness for Fridays when your weekends are restful and slimming. Make Friday workout routines part of your TGIF celebrations and you’re bound to have a fantastic weekend, from one week to the next!

 

Use The Comment Box Below And Tell Us:

1. What do you usually do on Friday afternoons when you leave the office?

2 Which one of the Friday Workout Routine ideas can you use to add some fun and health to the start of your weekend?

 

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Six Benefits Of Keeping An Exercise Journal for Consistent, Effective Workouts

There are many benefits of keeping an exercise journal for women who want  to add more exercise into their daily routine.

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So you bought a gym membership to exercise more for stress relief and to stay fit.  Congratulations. But the question is: Will you use it on a regular basis?

If you need help maintaining a consistent exercise routine for stress relief and fitness, an exercise journal can work miracles.

There are many benefits of keeping an exercise journal.  An exercise journal  is one tool for making your workouts more consistent and effective. For instance, take a look at the benefits of tracking your time on your treadmill desk for work.

The Benefits of Keeping an Exercise Journal

  1. Maximize awareness. When you write in an a diary your mindfulness increases and awareness improves. You’ll have very accurate information about how many times you visited the gym last week, and exactly what you did when you were there, how you felt before , during and after your workout, and much more. At the same time, you’ll feel empowered and accomplished, and you will be much better able to relax and enjoy the rest of your day knowing that you’ve accomplished your exercise goals for the day and that you documented the necessary information. 
  2. Set realistic goals.  If you set unrealistic exercise goals you risk missing out on the fun of being fit.  You can’t transform yourself into Superwoman and you can’t lose 50 pounds in one week to fit into your jeans no matter how hard you try.   Instead, aim for reasonable targets like taking 2 inches off your waistline or losing 2 pounds per week.  Small, realistic goals will give you more victories to celebrate. 
  3. Build in accountability. You’re less likely to skip your work outs when you know your exercise journal diary will become lasting evidence of that fact.  Keeping a journal leads to build it accountability because you’d rather do those sit up that have to read in your exercise diary that you skipped them.
  4. Recover from lapses.  Events, sickness, and circumstances can sometimes get in the way of your exercise routine. That happens to everyone.  Events like holidays and weddings interfere with the soundest of exercise plans. Taking a long term view will show you how to bounce back from a few hectic days quickly instead of using that as an excuse to slack off on your workout permanently.
  5. Keep Track of important data. Imagine running a business where you neglect to keep records about your customers or finances. Data is just as essential when you’re trying to figure out how to walk ( or run) a faster mile. 
  6. Manage medical conditions. An exercise journal may be especially useful if you’re living with a chronic condition. Lifestyle adjustments could reduce the symptoms of diabetes or arthritis.

How to Keep an Exercise Journal

  1. Create your format. I am not a techie, so pen and paper works fine for me.  If that sounds like you, invest in an exercise journal with a pretty cover. If you are a gadget lover, you can organize your data with a mobile app on your phone.  
  2. Define your scope. You can decide how much or how little you want to write in your journal. You have the option to track just the basics or keep a detailed diary of each workout. At the very least minimum, try to document what time you worked out ( morning or afternoon),  how long your workout lasted, the level of intensity and how you felt before, during, and after the workout. 
  3. Evaluate your feelings.  This is really important for many women who want to know how their emotions affect their fitness plans. It’s  empowering and inspiring to document how a half hour of cycling, or walking, or jogging enhances your mood. On the other hand, if you leave a Cross Fit session feeling drained, it could be a sign you may be overtraining and need to lighten your workout sessions. 
  4. Include fun, relevant images and quotes. Pictures say a thousand words and inspirational sayings can give you that extra motivation to stick to the routine. So include pictures and quotes to  make your exercise journal a fun p[project that you enjoy going back to every day.  
  5. Make scheduled entries.  To get the most benefit from your exercise journal,  you have to write in it every day. Making daily scheduled entries shortly after your workout helps to ensure accuracy. Try different options and see what system works best for you. For instance, you may need to take your journal to the gym with you or if you work out at home, you may need to take 5 minutes after cool down to write in your exercise journal. Another option could be to write in your exercise journal just before going to bed. 
  6.  Be flexible and change your routine. Our bodies adapt to any familiar movement so walking a mile will soon require less effort than it used to. If you want to advance, you’ll need to make things more challenging. Many experts suggest that a 10% weekly increase in weight, intensity, or distance is usually a safe guide. 
  7. Examine your records. Use your journal to reflect on how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ve worked your way up from 5 pushups to 15 over the course of the year. 
  8. Collaborate with others. Reserve your journal for your eyes alone or share it with your health team. Your physician or personal trainer can give you more detailed recommendations when they learn more about you.

Write your workout program down on a piece of scrap paper or a custom-designed template. Either way, you’ll be more likely to reach your fitness goals when you monitor your progress with an exercise journal.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you ever used an exercise journal?
2. Did you find that it helped you? What did you find most useful when writing in your journal?

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

How to Get Your Day Off to a Good Start In 20 Minutes Flat

Read on to discover how to get your day off to a good start by following these tips.

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If you’re like most women ( especially if you have kids), there is a good chance you spend your morning in a manic rush to get out the door!

The lack of time at the beginning of the day and throughout the rest of the day can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed from dawn until dusk.

Do you arrive at work feeling ready to take on the day? Probably not?

Getting your day off to a good start is the best way to ensure you have a good day….all day.

The million dollar question is:

How to get your day off to a good start?

 Whether you realize it or not, you have a morning routine. We all do.  But if your first hours of the day are spent in a manic rush to get the kids (or yourself) awake, dressed,  fed, and through the door, your morning routine may not be as effective as it could be.

Improve  your morning routine and have a better day:

  1. Rise and shine early. I don’t know about you, but for me waking up early gives me a sense of control and helps me avoids the feelings of stress and anxiety that I am late and short on time.  This is the stress-free way to start your day each morning. Of course, to wake up early feeling refreshed, you need to go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep as well. Waking upon an extra thirty minutes early in the morning will make your pre-work time leisurely and pleasant.  If the thought of waking of 30 minutes earlier each day is overwhelming for you, start with small baby steps.  Try to wake up 5 minutes earlier each day for the next 6 days. 
  2. Take a few minutes to meditate. If you’re like me, you usually hit the snooze button when your nature sounds alarm clock goes off. Here’s a great way to use the typical 9-minute snooze.  Instead of rolling over and going back to sleep for 9 more minutes, use that 9 minute snooze time for a short meditation session. Just breathe and pay attention to your breath. As your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath. You’ll be surprised by how calming this can be. 
  3. Drink a large glass of water ( preferably warm and with lemon). Everyone ( and that includes YOU) is dehydrated after 7+ hours of sleeping. I start my day with a large glass of warm water with lemon before doing anything else. Sometimes I have a warm cup of tea with lemon. As a matter of fact, when you start  feeling sluggish throughout the day, a glass of water or a cup of tea will usually help. Keep a bottle of water and some herbal tea bags at your desk. 
  4. Squeeze in 5 minutes of exercise.  I know, I know!  Five minutes does not seem like much to burst out in a sweat, but it’s more than enough to gets your heart pumping. Walk up and down the stairs a few times or march in place. If you have a treadmill, use it. You’re just trying to move and warm your body. For an extra boost, do five minutes of jumping jacks or jump rope.  I promise you that five minutes will be enough to of that get your heart pumping. 
  5. Read or recite a positive affirmation. While you are taking a shower, use that time to recite affirmations to yourself.  If you do not know any by heart, stick up a few on your bathroom mirror the night before and read them out loud while you comb your hair or put on your make up. The particular affirmations you use are entirely up to you, but it’s best to choose affirmations that would enhance your mood or support your goals. Here are a few recommendations:
  • I’m having a great day.
  • I enjoy my job and my life.
  • I am ready to tackle work with enthusiasm and a smile.
  • I weigh 135 lbs.
  1. Take time to eat a healthy breakfast.  There is a saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. It’s true. A good breakfast will keep your energy up and fuel your day. A healthy morning meal often leads to a healthy lunch. So do not skip breakfast. Try different types of breakfast foods and determine which works the best for you. For me, I prefer a fast healthy breakfast smoothie that I can prepare in under 3 minutes and take with me as I head out the door.
  2. During the commute briefly review the tasks you need to complete for the day. Check your to-do list before heading out the door. On the drive to work, mentally review those tasks and consider the most effective strategy to get those responsibilities accomplished. 
  3. Listen to something uplifting. The last 10 minutes of your commute, listen to something that inspires and energizes. I keep some music CD’s in my car. The “morning music” is energizing and uplifting so that I can dance and sing on my way to the office.  The “afternoon music” is soothing and calming, the perfect antidote for stress, so that I can relax and unwind on the drive back home from work. We all have a song that makes us feel like we can take on the world. Maybe it’s the Rocky theme or a song by your favorite band. Pull into the parking lot feeling great and ready to tackle the day.

The good part about the 8 step morning routine above is that it doesn’t add any time at all to your day. Instead, you are basically reshuffling dead time that’s usually wasted. 

If you’re still reading this post, by now you’ve discovered some grat ideas on how to get you say off to a good start in just 20 minutes.  Imagine that!  In just 20 minutes, you can enhance your morning and the rest of your day.

These 8 steps are just meant to get you started.  Think of other ways to build upon your current morning routine. Getting your day off to a good start is the best way to enjoy a great day….EVERYDAY!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What do you do to jump start your day?
2. If you are not already doing what I recommend above to jump start your day, which one (or more) do you think you’ll try?

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Top 10 Mood Boosting Foods to Try on a Budget

Try these budget friendly top 10 mood boosting foods to relieve stress and promote happiness in your life.

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There is a strong link between what you eat and how you feel.  Nutrition and stress relief are linked in more ways than you may think. Eating healthy does a lot more than just improve your health.  It can improve your mood and your emotional well-being as well.

Isn’t it good to know that happiness and stress relief is only a few forks and spoons away? The saying “you are what you eat” comes to mind, so every thing you put in your mouth can either help you or hurt you.  Which one will it be?

Your diet can affect your moods, and specific foods can be used to improve how you feel, every day. Just knowing that you can control naturally by what you eat is empowering.  No need for anti-depressant pills.  No need for drugs. No negative side effects. who could ask for anything more?

Eating the right foods is a win-win scenario. Making the switch to eating mood boosting foods starts when you go grocery shopping.

These top 10 mood boosting foods are easy to add to a budget-conscious grocery list.  

 

Put these items in your shopping cart and enjoy:

  1. Turmeric is an inexpensive spice available in grocery stores. This nutritional powerful is one of the mist undervalued foods I know. I recently discovered the wide variety of health benefits if turmeric myself. It influences the brain by increasing neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of happiness. It’s a MUST-ADD for your grocery list if improving your emotional and physical wellbeing is high on your list.
  2. Tomatoes. The lycopene in tomatoes is linked to the reduction of inflammatory compounds. These compounds affect the mood and lead to depression, so eating tomatoes is one way to stay happy. Cherry tomatoes are recommended over regular tomatoes because they have more lycopene. However, all tomatoes have this important nutrient. Add a slice of tomato to all your meals throughout the day, including your sandwiches, for a power boost in your emotional and physical health.
  3.  Beets is a vegetable that belongs on the mood boosting grocery list because of betaine. It’s a special compound capable of making antidepressant molecules in the brain and protecting cells from stress.  And we need ALL the protection from stress that we can get!!!  Beets also have betalains that are responsible for reducing inflammation in the body. Studies show that inflammation contributes to depression. Beets improve your mood by slowly releasing sugar as they’re digested.  Great stuff!    I used beets in my juicing often.  Combined with carrots and apples it makes a delicious juice.  Try it and watch you mood improve.
  4. Celery is a popular diet food, but it’s also a great mood enhancer. Celery has 3-n-butylphthalide, the chemical responsible for reducing stress hormones, in large quantities. Celery is another main staple in my juicing recipes and soup recipes.  It’s very affordable and easily available.  Add it to your mood-boosting grocery shopping list.
  5. Asparagus. Its tryptophan levels make it a vegetarian alternative to turkey. Asparagus’ tryptophan contributes to the creation of positive neurotransmitters in the brain.Asparagus’ folate levels also play a role in boosting your mood. Folate is also needed to make positive neurotransmitters. The study, “Is low folate a risk factor for depression? A meta-analysis and exploration of heterogeneity,” showed that people with low amounts of folate in their body are more likely to suffer from depression.
  6. Swiss chard. Do you want to increase your energy while lifting your mood? Swiss chard helps both of these areas with its magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral linked to a happier state of mind.
  7. Lentils are a common budget grocery staple, and they can improve your mood. Lentils are a good source of folate, which helps the brain avoid depression. Lentils also have L-tyrosine. It’s an important amino acid used by the brain to make happy neurotransmitters. My mom makes delicious lentil patties that I love to snack on during the afternoon or anytime of the day. Lentils are a healthy, simple, and inexpensive way to stay positive.
  8. Steel cut  oatmeal is another way to boost your mood. Oatmeal has high levels of magnesium necessary to stay positive. It also has fiber that reduces blood sugar spikes and prevents mood swings. I usually have an oatmeal smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal with one table spoon of ground flaxeed and some raisins every day.
  9. Honey can calm your nerves and decrease anxiety. Multiple nutrients are responsible for this effect. Honey is great for health and for beauty too!  Search the internet and you’ll find many diy facial, skin and  hair treatments that require honey.
  10. Dark Chocolate. Bulk and generic versions of dark chocolate are less expensive, so they can fit a budget grocery list.  Dark chocolate lowers the amount of stress hormones in the body. Additionally, its cocoa flavanols make you feel calmer. A study from the Swinburne University of Technology found that eating dark chocolate was linked to better moods.  

A consistent diet than regularly includes these top 10 mood boosting foods can boost your mood naturally. Plus, you can purchase most of these mood enhancing foods on a budget without breaking the bank!  Click here to discover 12 more super foods to add to your diet to beat stress.

So what are you waiting for.  Print out this article and use it as your mood-boosting grocery list the next time you go shopping.  You have nothing to loose, and everything to gain!  This is how to ensure happiness on a budget! :-)

Want to find out how to get nutrition, exercise and stress relief in your backyard?  Click here!

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. Have you found any other foods with mood boosting properties? If so, which ones?
2. Which food from my list above have  you tried and found that it really does work to boost your mood?

 

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.

Use These 6 Food Safety Tips In The Kitchen to Stay Healthy

Do you know the importance of food safety? Use these 6 food safety tips in the kitchen to stay healthy.

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Do you clean out the fridge and cabinets in your kitchen regularly? Food safety in the kitchen is vitally important for keeping yourself and your family healthy.

Use the food safety tips in the kitchen to create a safer, healthier, stress-free kitchen environment:

  1.  Make it a priority to clean out the kitchen regularly, at least every week. I know how tempting it can be to simply throw the latest food purchases on the shelf and walk away because you have to rush off to your next pressing appointment or duty, but it’s really important to come back and clean out the cabinets. If you can’t do it because of time, then get someone else to do it. Cleaning the shelves can help you discover expired items. It can also help you find spoiled foods that need to be thrown our so that you won’t inadvertently use them when hastily putting a meal together.
  1. Always make sure you are using the right temperature to store.  Using the right temperature can affect how long items last in your fridge. It’s important to set the refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 35 degrees Fahrenheit works for most households. The freezer needs a different setting, and 0 degrees Fahrenheit or less usually works best.
  1. Always Store foods separately.  To avoid cross-contamination, you need to store foods separately.  So don’t store the raw chicken with the kale leaves.  They need to be stored separately!
  •  It’s important to store raw foods like meat in a separate location from other frozen items like prepackaged lasagna.  Since frozen lasagna only needs to be heated , it can be stored apart from the meat in the freezer.
  • Use freezer bags and other storage bags to separate and store food items.  They are perfect for separate food items for storage and organizing your fridge, freezer, and cabinets for optimal food safety. You could also invest in this food saver vacuum sealing system to keep your food items safe during storage
  •  Separating raw meat or seafood from other ingredients is also essential when you are preparing and cooking food. Cross-contamination is a real threat and can easily occur on kitchen counters, so it’s best to keep food items in their own locations.
  1. Invest in several cutting boards.  This is one of he food safety tips in the kitchen that I learned recently.  Until recently, I had one cutting board, but after learning about the potential for cross-contamination I realized that I need several cutting boards, one cutting board for raw meat, one for other raw items, and a separate one for other foods.  I even learned that I should get separate cutting boards for raw meat and raw fish to avoid contamination in the kitchen.
  • When you clean your cutting boards try washing them in warm water and soap.  That’s the best way to kill of any bacteria that may be lurking on the cutting boards.
  1. Don’t forget to pay attention to food safety while using a grill. Grilling can be a fun activity for the entire family, but food safety is still important, so don’t slacken off when it comes to cooking on the grill. Especially during summer time when grilling is popular, it’s important to make sure that all precautions are taken when it comes to food safety.
  •  The grill must be clean.  That’s the first step to staying safe. It’s vitally important to completely remove crusted food and other debris from it before cooking. A strong wire brush can help you clean the slots on a grill. Don’t skip this or you will be exposing your family, friends and loved ones to health risks.
  • Use different plates when grilling to separate food that is cooked from food that is not (yet) cooked. This may seem unimportant but it really is an essential point.  Keep cooked foods separated from uncooked food when grilling.  The best way to do that is by using separate plates for the cooked and uncooked food.
  • Pay attention to the utensils you use at the grill as well. Use two sets to be extra safe and to avoid contamination. One set for the cooked food and one set for the uncooked food will make it easier to stay safe.
  • Pay attention to how you marinate. The marinade that is used on the raw items needs to be disposed of properly.
  1. Invest in a good food thermometer. A good food thermometer will help you pinpoint the exact temperature of your cooking. Guessing if a turkey ( or other food) is done just by looking at it can be tricky. A thermometer makes it easier to stay healthy and safe and is well worth the investment.
  • If you are cooking ground meat, make sure that it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.  It must reach that temperature to be safe.
  • Poultry is a stable dish in just about every home. It needs to reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to be safe. Pork requires a lower temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Another good use for a thermometer is to test the food throughout the cooking process.  This is a good way to make sure that its not overcooked.
  • To get accurate readings, you need to insert the thermometer into a thick part of the food.

No one wants to expose family and friends to getting seriously ill from old food or cross-contamination, so using these food safety tips in the kitchen is a must!  Make it a priority to invest in the tools and kitchen gadgets needed to help keep your family safe and healthy. And make it a TOP priority to follow and implement these food safety tips in the kitchen.

Please Share Your Thoughts 

In the comments below, share with us:

1. What do you do to stay safe with food preparation?
2. What is your go-to kitchen accessory for easy food prep and safety?

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All content on this ​website was created and/or compiled by ​Natural Stress Relief Women. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including text and images) without express and written permission from this ​site’s author/owner is strictly prohibited.