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It's beginning to look a lot like ....STRESS!

I don't know about you, but Wow - the holidays can sure bring a lot of stress into my life. (Insert big sigh here!)

Read on for 6 tips to "de-stress" .......

Finishing the semester finals, catching up on projects that need to be done before break (can you tell I'm a teacher) and then shopping and planning for Christmas and company.

Both of my daughters are in college and the level of stress they feel from finals is crazy.

Not only is the stress bad enough in your mind, it starts taking over your body as well. Stress eating, loosing sleep, anxious rapid heart rate, shallow breathing - YIKES!

Teaching health education, we devote time to stress, how to cope and manage it.

Here are a few things you (and I) can do:

1) BREATH!!!

Stop, stand up, close your eyes and inhale thru your nose for the count of 7 and as you do, slowly lift up your arms and then lower them as you exhale through your mouth for the count of 7. FULLY empty your lungs.

I say to my students, "In through your nose 2, 3, 4, 5 and out through your mouth 2, 3, 4, 5. And repeat! I really want to hear those breaths coming out your mouth!!"

Take just 1 minute, 2x a day or whenever you are feeling stressed and DO THIS. Sometimes, I practice my deep breathing while I'm driving (without closing my eyes of course).

2) Get outside and walk.

If outside is not feasible, go to the gym. Walking, even for 30 minutes a day will help tremendously. Blood pumping, oxygen circulating, good stuff.

3) Spend time doing what you LOVE.

Art, reading, listening to music, watching Netflix, grab coffee with a friend. Even if you only have 20 minutes, do it. We need that outlet, this coping tool.

4) Get a Massage

Sometimes we save massages for special occasions because of cost. But often, spas will offer a membership where you can get a massage once a month for only $60. Chris & I like to go to this little place in town where they offer 45 minute foot massage (which includes upper back, neck, arms & legs) for only $25. You can't beat that!

5) Meditate &/or Yoga

If you don't have a class or know where to start, there are some great people on YouTube teaching & guiding yoga. My husband does yoga everyday with Yoga with Adriene.

6) Use your phone.

That's right, you read that right. Use your smart phone. I have found some super apps that help me relax, guide me through meditation, breathing, etc. I will actually open up one of them in between classes, sit and listen for just a few minutes. I am amazed at how relaxed physically and mentally I will feel in a short amount of time. Some of these apps are:

-Rain, Rain


-3 Minute Mindfulness

-Relax Melodies: Sleep zen sounds & white noise

Hopefully you can use some or all of these techniques to cope & deal with your stress. My prayer is that you'll be relaxed, live in the moment, embrace the relationships and enjoy a beautiful holiday season!

Much love to you and yours!

#stress #holidays #christmas #copingskills