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Friday, February 22, 2013

Stress management post


Hopefully you guys do not look anything like the woman above... or her male version!!!
In case you do... please keep on reading... it will be time well invested!!!!
In case you don't... well, keep on reading anyway....  stress management techniques are always good to be remembered!!!  (to avoid looking like this poor woman!!!)

The first step to manage stress is to create a well balanced lifestyle!

3 essentials components to us, human being, are:

(no they are not money, huge house an expensive car!!!  Surprised? Well if you've been reading me for a while you shouldn't be... )

Food
Exercise
Sleep

In order to be able to manage stress, live a healthy and meaningful life, those 3 components need to be well managed!!!

Food:

You should eat healthy food...  Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  In those, you can find all the nutriments your body needs...  vitamins, minerals, fibers, protein, anti-oxidants... without the refine sugars or flour, or the added fat.

Your food should be eaten as closely as possible to it's natural state - not processed or coming from a can or a box!

You should eat when you're hungry!  Not because it is lunch time or every one else is...

Eating should be an activity in itself... not in conjunction with...

You should always stop eating before feeling full or stuffed up!

You should chew your food - digestion process starts in your mouth with your saliva!

You should take 20 min to eat... this is the time it takes for your stomach to tell your brain it full... if you eat large amount of food quickly, the message does not have time to go thru and you overeat!

You should eat smaller meal but more often - your stomach is no bigger then your fist!

Take the time to TASTE your food...  not salt, not sugar, not fat...  the actual food...  there's a bunch of flavor out there but most food is so salted, sugary or fat that they all taste the same!  Give practice to your taste buds  so they can learn to enjoy healthy natural food!!!

This is the basic of eating.... practice it and let me know what happens...

Exercise:

Not talking about getting ready for a triathlon... or the Olympics... just get yourself moving...
You do not NEED an athlete's body...

The recommended amount of exercise to be healthy is 30 minutes per day or 1h 3 times a week...  of any activity you like!!!  Just take your body off the couch, away from TV or computer!!!  Get this heart pumping a little!

P.S. If you haven't exercise in a while, go get some professional opinion before starting - be it an instructor, a doctor...

Anything you do in the course of the week adds up...  You can go up the stairs instead of using the escalator or elevator... you can take a walk at lunch...  go for a walk after supper... play with your kids outside... throw a ball... go for a bike ride... bike to work... or get off the bus one stop earlier and walk...  park your car at the other end of the parking lot... or one street away from your destination... join a gym... a yoga class...  a team sport with other adults...  swim... walk... bike...

The best exercises, done in moderation, that do not harm your body are walking, biking, swimming and yoga... all these with common sense and moderation...

Start moving!!!!  Now is as good a time as ever!!!
You will have a better relation with you spouse and/or kids...  get to meet new people... feel great!!! look good!!!  and add years to your lifespan!!!

Sleep: 

Did you know that the average human being needs 7h18min of sleep per night?  but only gets 6h40min...  over the course of a year this sums up to more than 200h of sleep deprivation!!!!
Sleep deprivation can cause: insomnia ( I know this sounds weird but it is true), fatigue, memory loss, stress, depression, diabetes, obesity, hearth problems and digestive problems.

Your body NEEDS sleep to repair itself!!!  If you do not sleep enough it cannot do it! Over the course of months or years, damages adds up!!! 

Must I say it again.. you need to sleep..  you will not do more in the course of a day if you sleep only 4 hours because you will not be productive!!! 

It may seem counter intuitive, but by sleeping more, you have less hours during the day to do stuff... but you end up doing WAY more!!!  Because you are focus...  concentrated... and can think straight!

If you are sleep deprive, go back to a regular night of sleep by slowly incrementing by 5-10 minutes every other night your sleep time...  Do not go from 4h to 7h in one night!  It will probably not work!!! And you will stress because you will not be able to do all you're suppose to do!!!

In order to go to bed and fall asleep right away... create a ROUTINE... like we do with kids!  Go to bed at the same time each day... take a warm bath or shower right before... listen to some quiet music.. read... whatever works for you but be consistent!!!

Your bedroom is for sleeping purposes only! OK, there might be one exception to that rule - using your lab top, cell phone, iPad or watching TV is NOT one of them! ;-)

Do not eat a few hours before sleep - if your body is busy digesting, it will be hard putting it to sleep

SUMMARY:

In order to be able to manage stress, you need to watch what you eat, exercise and sleep well... this is the bare minimum...  you body cannot deal with stress if it is over used or misused!!! 

Be NICE to yourself...  protect your body - you have only one and it should last for 120 years supposedly!!!

If you need to make some changes SMALL STEPS is the key!!! DO not try to change everything at once! It may drive you nuts and you will go back to your old pattern in no time!

do not hesitate if you have any questions to ask them in the comment section!

have a lovely stress free week end!
love and peace,
nath
xox

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