Overwhelmed, overworked, tired, restless, frustrated? It’s likely that you are experiencing symptoms of stress. Our fast paced world, the holiday season, demands from family and work, all contribute to a heightened level of stress. To break the cycle, it’s up to us to actively seek ways to relax and unwind. The following suggestions have helped many people recognize some of the symptoms of stress, make subtle changes, and to once again enjoy daily routines.


Symptoms of stress include sleeplessness, anxiety, subtle aches and pains, and a general feeling of irritability. Difficulty completing tasks, listlessness, poor eating habits, and the inability to leave work behind are all signs that stress may be getting the best of you. If so, it’s time to break the cycle. Listed below are some ideas that may help to reduce stress and bring pleasure back into your daily life!

Most importantly, start by scheduling time to RELAX. Lead by example and show those around you that you value time for rest and relaxation. Once you’ve created the space and time, choose activities that promote relaxation.

Exercise, yoga, and meditation are all wonderful ways to reduce stress. Concentrate on breathing techniques. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day, walk, swim, use a treadmill, or dance around your home…and when possible, indulge in a massage.

Watch what you eat. Try to cut out sugary sweets and replace snacks with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and dairy products, nuts, and whole grains.

Focus on positive thoughts. Choose to spend time with people who have a healthy outlook on life. Notice when your thoughts are becoming negative and find ways to turn them around…problem-solve by being proactive. More often than not, life’s events have a way of working themselves out for the good!

Play enjoyable music. Choose a relaxing hobby such as photography or water-color painting. Knit, sew, go fishing, create a garden, watch a movie, play a game of cards or American online roulette, read a good book, bake, organize…the list is endless.

Or, simply indulge in a warm bubble bath…light candles and escape from the world for a while. When you allow yourself a quiet island in time, day to day tensions begin to slip away, problems that may have seemed insurmountable become manageable.

By learning to recognize and handle stress, you’ll quickly find that you’re becoming a calmer, healthier, and happier person, ready to enjoy life to the fullest!

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