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Breathe. Relax. Repeat. December 28, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Health & Wellness, Life Balance.

Donald-Duck-LazyHolidays are FUN . . . but they can add to our stress levels as we struggle to shop, wrap, decorate, cook, clean,  entertain, and meet the expectations of others.

Now, it’s time for some serious STRESS relief:

* Exercise is a great stress buster.  Go for a brisk walk around the block.  Boost your heart rate while lowering your stress rate.

* Take the dog and/or kids to the park or playground.  Play tag, dodge ball, or monkey in the middle.

* Volunteering two hours per week can reduce stress and provide other feel good benefits.  Offer to take nursing home residents in wheelchairs for outings around the neighborhood.  Walk dogs at the local shelter.

* Join a tai chi or yoga group in the park.  Meditative movements help melt anxiety.  Sunshine is a mood booster.

* Some foods are proven stress busters.  Chocolate comes to mind.  Other options ~ whole grain breads, citrus, spinach, salmon, and black tea.  Try a Spinach, Fennel, and Orange Salad dressed lightly with a balsamic vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice).

Donald-Director* Play games with friends and family.  Laugh.  Be silly.  If you prefer to be serious, join a bridge club.

* Don’t just do something, sit there.  Meditation is a great way to gain clarity and melt away stress.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3:  Breathe, Relax, Repeat.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Tori Nelson - December 28, 2012

I haven’t gotten the hang of meditation just yet. I always fall asleep!

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Aah . . . you’ve mastered the sleeping meditation pose. Very important for mothers of tiny tots. 😉

2. sweetdaysundertheoaks - December 28, 2012

I had no idea how much the holiday season stresses me out until Christmas night and I knew it was all over. Aah.

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Here’s to Breathing Lighter again. 😀

3. Crowing Crone Joss - December 28, 2012

time to get back into the pace of normal life! Christmas time seems to throw everyone off kilter a bit.

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

I expect that a select few thrive on the increased hustle and bustle of the holidaze . . . not me. Here’s to getting back to the flow.

4. seeker - December 28, 2012

s-t-r-e-t-c-h first thing I wake up but the cats get in the way.

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Cats are “helpful” like that . . . I just put away the Christmas decorations with Tigger’s able assistance. 😉

5. Jim Kaszynski "THE IDEA MAN' - December 28, 2012

I did all the above & it worked, well except the playing bridge thing! That’s going a little to far…lol

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Bridge is my favorite cardgame ever . . . I like to play with people who take it seriously (without being obsessive about conventions).

6. Don - December 28, 2012

Thanks Nancy – such a good practical post. Your words, breathe, relax, repeat, lie at the heart of my own life. No wonder breath is spoken about in all the major traditions of Wisdom in the world. Thanks again.

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Thanks, Don. Following the breath allows wisdom to emerge from within. When we don’t know what to do . . . just “being” with our breath gives us the “breather” we need.

7. ericjbaker - December 28, 2012

Best holiday stress relief: Be a cantankerous curmudgeon with a constant scowl. No one wants to come over your house and cause stress!

Bah Humbug!


nrhatch - December 28, 2012

That’s the Spirit! 😀

8. sufilight - December 28, 2012

Expectations are the most stressful, fortunately we don’t get this that much these days as we are rather reclusive. 😀 Eric’s comments made me chuckle. haha.

nrhatch - December 28, 2012

Eric’s comments are apt to do that . . . he’s a recluse of the highest order. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😀

Here’s to avoiding unreasonable expectations!

9. Patricia - December 28, 2012

I have been for a walk 2 days in a row. I may have to rest tomorrow. Seriously, though, I do feel better after a walk. it’s just the getting started that is the problem.

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

Often, the toughest part of the walk . . . is walking out the door. Once out and about, it feels great to Move It, Move It. 😀

10. Three Well Beings - December 29, 2012

I have a week off work! Yipee! That’s been a marvelous stress reducer so far. I’ve been very busy doing almost nothing! 🙂 Next week when I return to work, I’d really like to have that salad you describe. I do need to do something about all the snacking I can’t seem to stop! 🙂

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

I stepped on the bathroom scale this morning and it groaned in protest! Time to dial back on the snacks here too. 😉

Three Well Beings - December 30, 2012

I admire your ability to face the music, Nancy! I haven’t dared get on the scale yet…but my clothing tells the story anyway! There are some things that cannot be hidden! 🙂

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

This morning, I’m at my pre-holiday (i.e., time-to-stuff-your-face) weight.

Aah . . . that’s better!

11. colonialist - December 29, 2012

I like the chocolate and ‘be silly’ bits. I think I’ll pass on those involving exercise and work. 🙂

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

I made an effort to move a bit more yesterday . . . amazing how much I accomplished by getting up and “just doing it” (vs. sitting and thinking about doing it). 😀

colonialist - December 29, 2012

Well done! But sitting and thinking about it is also exercise!

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

And sometimes it’s the ONLY exercise I get all day. 😉

12. Paula - December 29, 2012

Happy and stress-free 2013!

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

Or at least happy . . . with manageable stress levels. 😉

13. kateshrewsday - December 29, 2012

Some great suggestions, Nancy. I split this afternoon and headed for Hampton Court: now I’m back feeling refreshed after just a few hours.

nrhatch - December 29, 2012

Awesome! Nothing like stepping back in time to gain perspective in the NOW.

14. jannatwrites - December 30, 2012

You started out with the ‘e’ word (exercise) and I almost stopped reading…but you redeemed yourself with chocolate 😆

Only kidding…these are all great tips.

nrhatch - December 30, 2012

I promise not to mention the “e” word again . . . at least not until next year. 😉

15. Pocket Perspectives - December 31, 2012

We’re just emerging from a quiet and subdued “cave” of contentment here…just venturing out of it…what a quiet and peaceful option that was.

nrhatch - January 1, 2013

We had a quiet New Year’s Eve ~ managed to watch the ball drop before our eyes drooped, but barely. Up early to watch the London New Year’s Day Parade. Got to see our niece perform in Parliament Square . . . the camera zoomed in on HER. 😀

16. Perfecting Motherhood - January 2, 2013

Do you know what’s stressful about these holidays? Kids with no school for two and a half weeks, hyper of the Xmas toy getting and playing. Add rain every other day so they can’t burn off energy outside and you’ve got a recipe for holiday stress! 🙂

nrhatch - January 2, 2013

Kids can be great “stress busters” too . . . but only in small doses. Never 2 1/2 weeks straight. 😉

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