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HealthierU

TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF IN THE NEW YEAR

 walking·      Don’t feel guilty about making some “me” time. Taking care of your needs first allows you to have the energy, motivation and time to reach out and care for those you love.

·      If you move, you lose literally, but you win figuratively! Staying active, getting up and walking around keeps you healthy. Keeping fit with exercise of any kind makes you feel good – biking, swimming, tennis, lifting weights, etc.

·      Pamper yourself. Buy a little gift, treat yourself to a massage, get a babysitter and go on a date with your partner, walk along the beach, take a drive to the country or just relax with a movie or a good book.

·      Stretching is important whether you’re on your feet all day or sitting at your computer. There are two types of stretching:  Dynamic stretching and static stretching. Dynamic stretching is most important before an activity because it wakes up the tendons and muscles by loosening them and increasing their range of motion. Static stretching is most effective after an activity because it holds a muscle in a fixed position and stretches a tight muscle for an extended period of time.

·      Yoga is an activity that can increase your flexibility, strengthen muscles, center your thoughts and help you feel more relaxed. It’s also about stretching and strengthening the body. You may eventually find that stiff joints, aches and pains, and headaches tend to slip away.

·      Mindfulness Meditation can be practiced sitting or lying down with eyes open or closed and with or without music. It’s about cultivating attention in the moment by focusing on your breathing. It’s about being present, not about “doing.”   Even a few minutes a day can help relax the mind and body and reduce stress.

·      Guided imagery is a form of meditation that involves all the senses: visually, mentally and emotionally.  You can guide your thoughts toward a relaxed state by focusing your imagination on a calm, peaceful image. It may be a serene sunset, a beach or a cabin in the woods.  You decide.  It is based on the concept that the mind and body are connected.

·      Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that involves tensing specific muscle groups as you breathe in, and you relax them as you breathe out.  It is progressive because you generally proceed from head to toe through all major muscle groups.  It is helpful in reducing anxiety and relieving stress.

·      Humor is a positive coping mechanism for any type of stress and is good for the immune system.  It almost invariably puts life and its problems into perspective.  Humor connects people with smiles and laughter that will give you a real belly workout.

·      Attitude is about your thoughts and your feelings and its affect on your behavior.  If something goes wrong, you can choose your attitude and your reaction.  Try not to say, “It’s going to be a bad day” because if you think it, there’s a good chance that you will feel that way all day long.  Attitude not only influences your behavior, but can also rub off on others.  Keep a positive attitude and others will find you very approachable.  Because a negative attitude is like a virus.  It spreads and infects everyone.