Take care of You

A while ago, I wrote a post about pampering yourself, as it is a key to stress relief.  Well, I just recently pampered myself for the first time since having a baby, and wow did I feel good!! It felt like a whole new experience to get my nails done and go to the mall just to stroll! No changing diapers, no feeding, no rocking a baby to sleep, I was all by myself, enjoyed a long mani-pedi with a small back massage and it really did change my entire mindset! I went from feeling so stressed and tired to being super relieved and really happy :). Pampering myself has become a new priority, because I learned that going almost 3 months without any self-care really caused my sanity to spiral out of control! Whatever it is that is keeping you from taking care of yourself, drop it now and put yourself first.  Find a friend, spouse, parent, or a babysitter to take care of your kid(s), or set a goal to treat yourself to something after a big assignment, or leave work early if you are guilty of over-working yourself! Just take an hour (or five) to spend on yourself, and do whatever it is that you really miss.

I know a lot of people who have let stress take over their lives. Some people are affected physically by it, and you can tell by their deteriorating health that they are not taking care of themselves, and others are affected mentally by it, which is scary since it is not as obvious to the people around you.  Whether you let stress affect you physically or mentally (or both), you need to learn to stop and take a time out. I learned a lot just from taking a personal break, and I hope you can find time to do the same.

I’m Baaaaack!!

I am finally back from quite a hiatus, taken without any warning! I would like to thank all of the dedicated readers who kept coming back to check up on my posts. I don’t know who are, but I did see that there were a good number of you, so it really means a lot to me! I apologize for disappearing. I went on vacation and really thought that my travels would inspire me to post pictures of the beautiful sights I was so blessed to see and enlighten me on the different ways people around the world cope with daily stress. While I was inspired and enlightened, I was also exhausted and ended up taking a full-fledged vacation – even from the blogging that I love to do! So, my plan is to take my experiences and pictures and use them in my future posts.

Today’s picture is one of peace and serenity, which sums up one week of my recent adventures. I have decided to use this picture as a new stress relief.  When I need a break, I will take a deep breath and use this picture to remember my “happy place.”  A place I can let my mind run to when I need a break to think about quietness and happiness. I hope your summer has been a peaceful one, and if not, you can borrow my “happy place,” until you are able to take your own break and release some stress.

This  picture was taken of the Kaptan Şevket in the Mediterranean Sea from Knidos off the coast of Turkey…such a beautiful part of the world!

Take a Break!

I apologize for disappearing for an entire week of blogging, and I thank those of you dedicated readers who did come back looking for a stress relief tip for the day! I guess I just needed a break! Not that I actual need a break from writing or letting out all of my thoughts, but, sometimes, life just gets in the way!

So, it reminded me that it’s a good idea to just take a step back every now and then. We can’t do it all – no matter how hard we push ourselves. I think we would find a lot more energy to finish certain tasks (at home and at work) if we remind ourselves that it’s okay if we don’t finish everything on the to-do list and if we force some things to just wait.  Whether you are a mother who feels like a chauffeur, an involved community activist/philanthropist, working two jobs or working and studying, a dedicated friend, or employee or spouse, etc., I have no doubt you are stressed. While many have turned into superman/woman, they have also turned into stress-balls. 

Sometimes a break is just what we are looking for to give us time to think, time to relax and time to rejuvenate. In my opinion, it is probably one of the best ways to beat stress.  Our minds can recharge to be more creative and our bodies can recharge to be more energetic.  So to all of you out there, just take a break and allow yourself to relax, just once!

Boost your Immunity

It seems as though everyone around me is getting sick. Make sure you fight off anything you may see sneaking up on you, so you can enjoy your weekend! Today’s stress relief tip is to boost your immunity, so you don’t have to deal with the added stress of getting sick!  These are my favorite tips to stay healthy and well during “flu season,” “cold season,” “allergy season,” ok – all seasons!

Drink LOTS of tea – there are many different teas that help fight colds.  The trick is to add Lemon and Honey to them, because Lemon is high in Vitamin C (and my mom always tells me it’s good for stomach aches and cold and flu symptoms), and Honey is good for the immune system and for sore throats.  And, I have read that Ginger is considered a natural remedy for the cold/flu, among many other ailments. 

Also, I prefer to drink a lot of Echinacea Tea (I drink the Yogi Tea brand, but not with tea and honey).  Echinacea root is considered an herbal remedy for a weak immune system.  I feel that drinking lots of Echinacea tea helps prevent oncoming colds and strengthens the body and immune system when feeling weak.  If you don’t like the tea, many people opt for the Echinacea supplements. 

Vitamin C – I think we all know the benefits of vitamin C, and who doesn’t have a stash of Emergen-C or Airborne in their medicine cabinet? I think it’s important to boost your immune system with natural vitamin C, but you can always increase your intake by drinking lots of the supplement packets with water, or the actual vitamin C pills.

 Finally, get LOTS of sleep! I know we don’t always have time to sleep during the day, or we may not sleep enough during the night, but your body will not repair itself fully until you are at total rest.  Try to sleep as much as you can so your body can re-energize.

These are my immunity boosting “secrets,” so hopefully they will work for you, too!  Hopefully, you can fight it off before you have to take the actual medicines to make you feel better, or to sleep through the night.

Have a great weekend!

Go Fly a Kite!

I don’t mean “go fly a kite” as in “get lost,” I literally mean, go fly a kite! Hopefully the weather around you will be nice enough so that you can do something different this weekend.

I don’t remember the last time I flew a kite…actually, I don’t think I’ve ever even flown a kite! I remember trying once and failing miserably, and that was probably 20 years ago. This weekend, my company is having a grand opening event and we’re inviting people out to our property to come fly a kite. So, I look forward to learning, tomorrow.

I decided to read about some benefits of kite flying, because in my mind, it seems to be a calming experience, which must relieve some stress!  Turns out, there is a Chinese proverb that says, “Those who fly a kite can have a long life.”  (The kite originated fromChina.)  When looking and focusing on your kite, it relaxes your mind and your body.  While concentrating on your kite, you stare into a blue and white sky, which will give you a sense of serenity.  At the same time, kite flying is said to rejuvenate and reenergize the body.  So go fly a kite this weekend, and see how it makes you feel!

Pick up a Book

At some point in my life, I became a really big reader. I have to admit that this great habit started with the Bridget Jones books and the Shopaholic series. Once I started reading a lot, I expanded my reads and started learning a lot of history from excellent novels and fictions. And then, I became a little arrogant and thought that if I was going to be reading so much, I needed to start reading books that “really matter.” Books that are thought-provoking, controversial, and, many times, political (I studied political science, so I do have a strong interest)…but guess what? Once I made that decision to read these non-fiction books, I stopped reading – completely! I didn’t pick up a book for a loooong time, and then, finally I was at the airport once and I grabbed a best-seller fiction from the airport bookstore right before I got on a plane. I hadn’t known much about the book, but the title sounded familiar. Once I got on the plane, I couldn’t put the book down. I finally picked up my great habit, again, and now I always make sure I have a book on my nightstand.

Sometimes a book can be a great friend. I feel like I miss a friend once I’ve finished the last page, but then I just pick up a new book and start all over.  I encourage you to go buy one and start reading.  No matter what your interest may be, you can find a book to enjoy by the pool, in your bed, while traveling, etc. And just a little advice for any nonreaders out there – if you like movies, you’ll love reading books…I promise!

Pamper Yourself

Nothing beats stress like a good day of pampering. I personally feel so refreshed after a good mani/pedi, which, luckily comes with such a great massage! (At least if you go to the right place – that’s criteria for me!). Too often our busy lives get in the way of our personal pampering. It’s so important to take care of your body from the inside and out. So whatever it is that makes you feel good – a hair cut, sun tanning, massage, facials…any type of relaxing and beautifying treatment (yes, I know you guys do it, too) – make sure you save some personal time to spoil yourself.  It’s also important to make it a habit. Try to schedule these types of things once a month. In an ideal world, we’d do all of the above once a month! But I know nobody has time for that.

Remember, stress can lead to high blood pressure, muscle spasms, and headaches or migraines, among other things.  Treating yourself to a relaxing spa-type session will help reduce such tensions, and, my favorite, can promote better breathing. Try to alleviate your stress by doing something that relaxes you this weekend. Pick up the phone and make an appointment 🙂

Get Some Sleep

This morning I had to hit snooze about 20 times before I could get out of bed. Don’t you hate those mornings? I am at a point where I have to get at least 7 hours of sleep (preferably 8!) to feel that I will be functional all day. I know many people who stay up late and wake up early, and, somehow, make it all day long feeling fine. But, believe me, that will catch up with you. So a useful stress-relief tip for you this morning is – Get some Sleep!

There are so many advantages to getting a good night’s sleep, but the best one of all is that unwinding moment when you get into your comfortable bed after a long day and begin to fall asleep (the thought of that makes me want to go back home right now).  Also, remember that sleeping is “body recovery” time. While you are sleeping, your body repairs itself (especially from stress) and detoxifies.  And don’t forget the long-term effects either – sleeping is good for a healthy heart, a better memory, and a fit body.  Tonight, get a good night’s sleep, and hopefully you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your new day.