Thriving with healthier choices
Your mind, body, and spirit can be like musical instruments that you need to retune from time to time. The good news is that retuning one can often bring the others into harmony—bringing wellness and balance to your day and your life.
8 Ways to Relax
Relaxation helps you renew and recharge so you can be at your best. Taking time for yourself is not a luxury—it’s a necessity. Regularly allowing your mind and body to rest and recover are essential for overall good health. Schedule some time out of your day—everyday—to try some of the following relaxation methods. Even 10 to 15 minutes can make a big difference.
1. Enjoy a cup of tea
2. Read a book
3. Visit a natural setting, like a park or even your backyard for some fresh air
4. Take a walk
5. Spend time catching up with a friend or loved one
6. Do some simple stretching exercises
7. Practice calming yoga poses
8. Meditate or just take a moment to focus on your breathing
While you can’t always avoid stress, you can minimize it by changing how you respond to it. Regular relaxation helps with this. The reward for adding 15 minutes of relaxation to your day can be a healthy, balanced life with more energy for relationships, work, and fun.
5 Steps to Psychologically Benefit from Exercise
Nothing can reset your body and mind like a good bout of physical activity. We often hear about the benefits of regular physical activity—stronger muscles, healthier heart, stronger bones, and lowered risk of many chronic diseases. But, what about the emotional and psychological benefits of being active?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), more and more scientific research is finding an association between mental well-being and taking part in regular physical activity. For instance, regularly being physically active appears to prevent or lessen the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.
Regular physical activity can also help you:
• Enhance your mood
• Reduce stress
• Get better quality sleep
• Improve your memory
• Bounce back from challenges and setbacks more quickly—it gives you more resilience
Here’s how to begin reaping the benefits of physical activity:
1. Just get started
There’s no time like the present—start today. Take a brisk walk, go for a run, start taking a spin class, or join a team to play your favorite sport. HHS recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at least five days out of the week, but start where you can.
2. Make a simple commitment to yourself
This should be something easy to remember and easy to follow through on. For example: “I will take a 15-minute walk when I wake up each morning.” Put it on the top of your to-do list and see if you can check it off each day.
3. Choose something you love
Pick some activity that you enjoy—this will help keep you motivated. Maybe it’s dancing that lifts your spirits; maybe it’s just playing with your kids or grandkids on the playground. You should have no problem picking up an activity that incorporates the things to which you’re naturally drawn.
4. If at first you don’t succeed…
If you find that you’ve falling off your earlier streak of success, just start anew at your first opportunity, which may be later that day or the next morning.
5. Reward yourself
Remember to acknowledge your successes. For example, after your first two weeks give yourself a reward like going to the movies. The therapeutic effects of exercise on your emotional and physical health may feel rewarding, too.
Living Large – 3 Ways to Help Your Spirit Soar
Once you’ve relaxed the mind and toned the body, your spirit will probably be coming into harmony, too. Focusing on your spirit will also affect your motivation to take care of the body and the mind, so here are some great ideas to help lift your spirit.
Check in with yourself
• Take a walk by yourself
• Soak in the tub
• Enjoy a massage
• Turn off electronics and enjoy some quiet time
Connect with the moment
• Be more conscious when eating, drinking, and talking—slow down and savor your experiences
• Use deep breathing to slow down and relax, so that you can enjoy the moment
• Actively engage with your surroundings and appreciate the little things you may not normally notice
• Stay connected to those things that nurture you and your spirit
Practice kindness and gratitude
• Offer someone a smile and a “hello,” or send a kind note
• Consider doing volunteer work with a nursing home, hospital, or community organization
• Be aware of all the good people, experiences, and things in your life
• Give personal thanks to people who have made your life better or easier
• Reach out to friends and loved ones or your spiritual community
Contact your EAP today for any support or resources you may need to help you thrive this year. We’re here to help—available 24 hours a day.