Thursday, January 15, 2015

Happy & Healthy

On most days, being "happy and healthy" is really easy, but on other days it takes so much work. In my own life, I've struggled with stress and anxiety many times. Who hasn't? Many triggers can affect my mood... work, children, lack of sleep, the weather, etc.  So how can I shake off the stress?Happy Mood Board
Happy Mood Board on Polyvore

Here are a few tips from

* Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. Turn off the television, put down the computer, close the book.

* Get sunlight every day. Aim for at least 15 minutes.

* Exercise. Your mood can lighten whether you get an hour-long workout or a walk around the block.

* Keep stress in check. Figure out what your stressors are. They can include work overload, poor relationships, long "to do" lists, health problems, etc. Then create a plan to minimize or avoid them altogether.

* Practice relaxation techniques. In my own case, I try to start the day with some quiet prayer and meditation, reading a page from the daily devotional "Jesus Calling" and doing some yoga. Some mornings, I don't have time for any of these things. Those are the days when I can feel a negative change in my mood.

* Care for a pet. In addition to strong relationships with friends and family, the love from a pet can instantly boost my mood. Our Jack Russell, Lizzie, and Yorkie, Ella, always put me in a good mood. 

Another great idea is to develop a "wellness toolbox"! Possible mood boosters include:
* Spend time in nature
* Read a good book
* Watch a funny television show or movie
* Soak in a long, warm bath
* Start your day with a short "to do" list
* Talk to friends or family "face to face"
* Listen to music
* Do something spontaneous! -- Visit a museum! Go to the zoo! Get a drink at Starbucks!

So remember Voltaire's famous quote, "The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood." And, of course, PRAY! :)

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