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Show Yourself Some Gratitude

If you have felt stressed-out in the past month, know that you are not alone! Stress comes in many different flavors and sizes. I am thankful that when I get stressed that my body can tell me something needs to change. Here is a list of ways that your body might be communicating to you: * Backache * Headache * Low Energy * Upset Tummy * Rapid Heartbeat * Chest Pain * Tingling in Arms or Legs * Insomnia * And much more... Do any of the above sound familiar? During this pandemic, I have found that recognizing the symptom is important, but listening and being thankful that your body is saying, "HELP" is critical! So on this Thursday, Day 40-something in our "lockdown," I want to suggest some ways to show yourself some gratitude. 1. Exercise - This is important not only for physical ability and health but for mental stability! Research indicates that exercise helps stimulate endorphins. This produces natural chemicals that help us fight pain and elevate our mood. Try to meditate, or get online and stretch with a yoga instructor. Lift some weights or go outside on a walk or run. The more you move your body and practice your breathing, the more you can change your attitude. 2. Eat well - A lot of us are eating healthier because we have to make our own food right now for every single meal. Just remember your food groups and have plenty of water during your day. A healthy vitamin also goes a long way! Remember the old school food pyramid from the '90s?

3. Take a Break - Try to plan for 30-minutes out of every hour that you are sitting down to stand up and stretch your legs. Set a timer to remind you to stand up. Sitting all day and staring at the computer will hurt your eyes and decrease your body's circulation. Taking a break is just as important as standing. One beautiful thing about this time is that you can do laundry, walk the dog, talk to your children, cook a meal, or turn on your favorite comedy channel. Just remember to take a break! 4. Socially Connect - Are you tired of being on zoom calls? Pick up the phone and dial a friend. One feature that I think we all have forgotten about is merging calls! You can have more than one person on a phone call! Handwrite a letter to a friend and mail it. Just take the time to connect with your friends. This is also a great time to reach out to an old friend! Stay connected as we are physically distancing. 5. Set a Schedule - Days at home must have some form of a routine. A schedule helps you to stay focused and allows you a sense of peace. Schedules typically decrease anxiety and help with reducing stress levels. In your daily schedule, you need to include sleep! It's a great idea during this time to have a sleep schedule. Sleep is just as important as exercising and eating well. Getting enough sleep will decrease mood swings and increase attention. Showing yourself some gratitude will help you not only through this pandemic but also in life. Take time to rest, eat well, exercise, sleep, and continue connecting with your friends. The "new normal" has given me a better understanding of my body's signs of neglect. I have found that sitting all day and gazing at a computer is not healthy! I have done a better job of getting up, moving around, drinking more water, and exercising. These are just a few ways that I can show myself some gratitude. Find ways that you can be kinder to your mental and physical health today!

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