It’s A New Year… And A New You!

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Ok, we’ve all done it. We’ve made New Year Resolutions and started with a ton of enthusiasm only to be astonished at how quickly we’ve discarded the “new resolutions” and quietly fallen back into our old habits. Don’t you agree?

We think it’s time for a different approach to New Year Resolutions and instead of a list of energetic (and often time consuming) new approaches, how about we agree to open ourselves up to some “tips” and integrate these unassuming routines into our lifestyle!

Here’s our first entry into our new series of “2013 Tips For A Better You” – Relieving Stress. Let’s face it – the Holiday’s can be stressful. Factor in our stressful profession and well, you get the picture – we’re all just a big bundle of stress!

Here are some easy stress-relieving quick fixes you can do right at your desk.

     Chocolate. (Yes, we started with our favorite quick fix!) Small amounts of chocolate are known to release “feel good” chemicals to your brain which gives you time to reflect on whatever it is that is stressing you out. Chances are, those things aren’t as bad as they seemed just a few moments ago. Remember, don’t overdo it! Save them for when you need them!

– Keep some miniature-sized chocolates stashed away in your desk.

– For extra health benefits, stash dark chocolate.

Exercises:

Chair Exercises: Don’t laugh… they work! They increase blood flow and relax the body, thus reducing stress. Do some leg raises, roll your neck and shoulders and stretch your arms above your head for a few seconds. Do some wrist exercises by rotating your wrists and stretching out your fingers as wide as you can. All of these will make you breathe easier.

Neck Stretches:  Relax your shoulders and let your head roll forward, then slowly rotate your head to one side and then the other. Repeat gently four times.

Leg Lifts:  Sit with your back straight and your arms at your sides, then lift one leg straight out in front of you and rotate your foot in a circular pattern. Switch legs and repeat four times.

Shoulders: Shrug your shoulders, hold for a few seconds and then return your shoulders to their normal position while keeping your back straight and breathing normally.

Bun Squeeze: Tighten up those buns by squeezing them together for 10 seconds, release for 10 seconds, repeat.

Wrist Exercises:  Make a loose fist and rotate each hand outward from the wrist. Do 10 circles and then reverse the direction of the circle and do 10 more.

Laughter:  It’s still the best medicine. Recall a funny joke, or story, anything to bring a smile to your face and make you chuckle.

     Start a Humor Journal. They’re easy and fun to do. Every time you hear something funny, write it in your journal to refer to “when you need it” or to share with friends.

What do you do to relieve stress? Please share with us – so that we can share your ideas with others. Let’s all help each other have a healthy and productive 2013!

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