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Healthy Holiday Eating

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on December 24, 2010

The holidays are here, and even though they come with enough cookies, candy and comfort foods to last a lifetime, don’t run screaming from the buffet table just yet. Food may be a centerpiece of holiday festivities, but the holiday season doesn’t mean you have to pack on the party pounds. Try these tips for making your holidays healthful:

Take the edge off your hunger before a party.

Feeling hungry can sabotage even the strongest willpower, so eat a small, low-fat snack such as fruit or low-fat cheese before you head out the door. This will help you avoid rushing to the buffet table when you arrive.

Make just one trip to the party buffet.

Choose only the foods you really want to eat and keep portions small. Often just a taste satisfies a food craving or curiosity. Also, move your socializing away from the buffet table to eliminate unconscious nibbling.

Meet and greet.

Conversation is calorie-free. Get a beverage and settle into the festivities by catching up with old friends and making new ones.

How Can I Help My Overweight Child?

If you have an overweight child, it is very important that you allow him or her to know that you will be supportive. It is important to talk to your children about their weight, allowing them to share their concerns with you. It is not recommended that parents set children apart because of their weight. Instead, parents should focus on gradually changing their family’s physical activity and eating habits. By involving the entire family, everyone is taught healthful habits and the overweight child does not feel singled out.

Choose lower-calorie party foods.

IGo easy on fried appetizers and cheese cubes. Instead, have some raw vegetables with a small amount of dip-just enough to coat the end of the vegetable- or try boiled shrimp or scallops with cocktail sauce or lemon. To help ensure there will be healthful treats, bring a dish to the party filled with raw vegetables with a yogurt or cottage cheese dip, or bring a platter of fresh fruit.

If you are at a sit-down dinner party, cut your first helping in half.

That way, you can enjoy seconds (and your host or hostess will feel good about that) and the total amount of food you eat will be about the same as a normal-size portion.

Enjoy physical activity after a holiday feast. Find activities the whole family can do such as walking, biking, roller-blading or hockey, and develop family fun-time habits that can continue after the holiday season.

Be realistic. Don’t try to lose weight during the holidays-this may be a self-defeating goal. Instead, strive to maintain your weight by balancing party eating with other meals. Eat small, lower-calorie meals during the day so you can enjoy celebration foods later without overdoing your total calorie intake.

Have fun. Enjoy traditional holiday meals and party foods with family and friends while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, too. If you need help developing a plan that works for you, contact a registered dietitian.

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Enhance Your Immunity Balance for this Autumn

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on November 12, 2010

According to Ayurveda, a person in good health will not be affected by even the most contagious disease because natural resistance to disease is part of being in good health.

In Ayurveda, immunity is dependant on the digestive fire, our capacity to digest and assimilate nutrients. If your body is healthy the immune function is strong and foreign bodies are destroyed and removed so that it can return towards a state of homeostasis. If your body is not healthy, foreign bodies can survive in that environment. Toxins from undigested food also provide a favourable environment for foreign bodies.

So, how can you improve your eating habits and lifestyle choices to enhance digestion. Here are a few dietary, lifestyle and yoga tips to set you on the right track for enhanced immunity this autumn.

Dietary tips to enhance digestion

Be aware of:

* how you digest (how do you feel after a meal? light, satisfied?)
* the size of your portions and when you have eaten enough
* the foods you eat – do they suit your constitution ?

In Ayurveda, foods such as milk, ghee or clarified butter and honey (in moderation) are also considered important for enhancing immunity.

Other suggestions:

* Include many fresh organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans in your diet. To get the nutrients for an enhanced immune function, make sure that there’s always plenty of fresh organic produce around.
* Sip hot water or ginger tea throughout the day but not during mealtimes to enhance your digestive capacity.
* Reduce your sugar intake and alcohol, both of which affect the activity of white blood cells

Lifestyle tips

There are several lifestyle choices that can tip the scales towards either illness or health. Try the following ideas to help boost a healthy immune system:

* Be regular with your mealtimes so that the body is prepared for periods when it will be nourished.
* Maintain a healthy body weight (ideally BMI between 20 -25) Being underweight or overweight places stress on your organs and body functions, thus adversely affecting the immune function.
* Have a good night’s sleep
* Exercise regularly – 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes is the recommended minimum

Yoga tips

* Savasana, the basic relaxation position, can help to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and heart rate, reduce muscular tension, reduce fatigue, improve sleep, and enhance immune response.
* regular meditation e.g. simply sit in a quiet place for a short period each day
* do alternate nostril breathing to balance the mind and body and boost immunity

Many of the practices to support good health and immunity are intertwined. Lowering stress levels can help you to sleep more soundly and choose more nutrious foods. Sleeping more soundly can give you more energy to exercise. Ayurveda’s holistic approach can help you develop a lifestyle that is good for your body and your mind while supporting health and immunity.

Janet Gomez, nutritional consultant, produces the “Nutri-Jyoti News”, a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course “5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life” on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.

Copyright © 2010 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

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Why Should YOu Love Yourself

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 14, 2010

“They would like you to write about your own struggles with body image as a child.” And thus the subject of my blog for this years Women’s Conference was born. The only thing that struck me as odd was the “as a child” part. I’m a full grown 36-year-old woman who still occasionally wrestles with body image issues. Don’t we all, to one degree or another?

The world is subjective and we see it through our mind’s eye. For that reason, our life’s experiences and memories shape or “warp” our vision. This occurs on multiple levels, ranging from personal to professional, but by far the most insidious and potentially dangerous problems this can cause surround our physicality. At the least, body image issues erode self-esteem, and at the worst, they can give way to potentially fatal eating disorders.

The pressure to conform starts practically in utero and comes at us from every direction throughout our lives. Be it family pressures or societal expectations, the moment we are brought into the world, the programming begins, and the rules are laid down. “We behave this way, look and appear that way, talk when and as instructed” and so on.

We are by nature social creatures. We crave conformity and harmony with the population – like it or not. And who wouldn’t? No one wants to be ostracized and face the painful punishment of rejection. For this reason we strive to achieve the idea of perfection that society has impressed upon us. Looping endlessly in the vicious cycle of hope, self-consciousness and self-loathing.

Who hasn’t looked in the mirror and dissected themselves or engaged in a severe verbal bashing? “My body is so gross. I hate my fat knees. I wish I were tall instead of short and dumpy. My hair is thin and stringy. My jiggly arm fat makes me sick.” Blah blah blah. We’ve all been there to one degree or another and felt the sting of this ritual.

So now what? Where does this leave us and how do we change? Who is the enlightened soul that has evolved to the point of tossing off all of our cultural suppositions and basically telling the powers that be where to stick it? The answer to that is no one — or at least I certainly haven’t met her yet.

In fact, quite the opposite ends up happening. What begins as society’s imposition ends up our own doing. Often we collapse under the pressure into submission, falling in line, adopting and propagating these provincial ideas of beauty.

So in actuality, the realization that we have become the problem empowers us to be the solution. In the immortal words of President Truman, “The buck stops here!” We must say no to this pernicious dogma and stop taking part in the endless spiral of judgment and loathing that we subject ourselves and other women to.

We have to create awareness and be conscious of when we engage in this destructive behavior and conversely choose to implement an attitude and actions that are nurturing and life affirming.

When you catch yourself analyzing and criticizing – STOP and immediately pay yourself a compliment. Celebrate the differences among women and appreciate beauty in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Do something nice for yourself like getting a manicure pedicure. Smile at a female co-worker instead of “hating her ’cause she’s beautiful.” Glance over a list of all your accomplishments and all the things about you that your proud of. And so on.

While this stuff might sound trite like a cheesy new age platitude, the truth is that it works. Not overnight. It takes time, diligence, and desire, but doesn’t everything that’s worth fighting for? We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our daughters to send a different message, rewrite the rules, and change the game. It’s up to us to set a new example, lead the way and then support and encourage others to follow suit.

Now, repeat after me “I’m smart, I’m beautiful, I’m funny and doggone it – people like me.” – Stuart Smalley.

Jillian Michaels is a New York Times best-selling author, a trainer and the life coach on the NBC hit series The Biggest Loser, and the star of the NBC show Losing It With Jillian.

Her DVDs, Yoga Meltdown, 30-Day Shred, No More Trouble Zones, and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism, are consistently top sellers on Amazon. In addition, she has two video games — Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009 and Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2010. Her website is JillianMichaels.com

 

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RESOLVING CONFLICTS IN RELATIONSHIPS

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 8, 2010

Ground Rules:

Can you agree to the following?

___ Some conflict is normal and to be expected.
___ Each partner is entitled to their own unique perspective.
___ Each partner can only control their 50% of the interactions.
___ Its acceptable to attack the problem, but not the person.

How To INTERRUPT the Old Patterns by using “R-C-L” :

RESPECT

Try to demonstrate respect at all times, and at 2 levels:
Non-verbally: by maintaining eye contact, turning off any distractions, and trying to appear interested.
Verbally: waiting your turn to talk.

LISTEN

If in doubt on what to do or say, resort to LISTENING. You can always respond later.
Listening does not mean you agree, but rather that you are at least trying to receive the message.
Attempt to understand the message by listening on 2 levels: with your head, and with your heart.

CHOOSE (how you respond)

Don’t just react! You can take some time to think and reflect before giving any response.
If conflict is escalating into the danger zone, call a time-out and get apart for a few minutes.
It is better to delay than to destroy.
Stay focused on the (one) topic.
Make your point and stop! Going on and on reduces the chances of being heard.
Details will only pollute your point.
Using unfair tactics may feel effective in the moment, but work against any real problem solving.
Use “I” messages instead of “You” messages: i.e., “I felt____, when you ____.”
This identifies your feelings and concerns, yet acknowledges you take responsibility for your own feelings. Saying, “You made me feel ___,” says the other person is responsible for making you feel so-and-so. This is never true, since we are responsible for how we choose to interpret a comment. It is a common cognitive mistake. This response will always put the other person on the defensive.

RESOLUTION may only come with time, not during one particular battle.

Remember: “If I do what I always did, I’ll get what I always got.”

Stephen L. Knubley, Principal
Knubley Counseling, LLC

Copyright © 2000-2009 Knubley Counseling, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Rev 9-9-09

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Success Summit Sunday Morning Speaker

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 7, 2010

At the last day of the Dress for Success, Success Summit. Sunday’s Inspirational key note speaker Rae Lewis -Thornton focused on progress. Thrornton explained, “My Life is not my own.” She described about how she overcame obstacles of all kinds. Thornton She talked about how she was sexually, emotionally, and psychically abused from age 5 to 17. Thornton shared that therapy is necessary to deal with and heal from sexual abuse.

She explained, “That we all have a history and it’s standing on something I have history with God.” She told us how faith and character helped overcome. Thornton said her grandmother was instrumental in encouraging her faith.

Thronton stated, ” What ever your struggle know that you will be fighting against that Demon all of your life.” She explained about the consequences of living with AIDS. She shared candidly about how the disease caused people to suffered with diarrhea. Despite dealing with direatha Thorton lead an active life. She talked about how the first few times she had diarrhea she was able to wash up and not be embarrassed, just in convenient.

Thornton shared about how diarrhea hit when she was in a restaurant having dinner. She went to the bathroom and set in her mess in the stall. Trying to figure out what to do. She said the lesson from this was, ” Sometimes you have to sit still in your mess, figure out your next move…this situation I’m in … i have to sit still an think about my next move. She then preceded to be humble and wash up in the toilet. She washed and flushed.

Thornton explained the importance of respecting public space. She went on to tell how she washed out her panties and wrapped them up in toilet paper and put them in her pocket . Even though she was going to discard them. She said she didn’t discard them at the restaurant because, she had to realize how her actions affected others.
This made me think about how personally pride has caused me to rush and my mess has affected others as a result.

Thornton explained God always has a plan. his time it not ours, his ways are not ours! She encouraged” be willing to tell your story, your life is not your own. She did not share the story at first, but once she started sharing it she realized she was helping others. She said an actress heard her story and developed into a project about women and AIDS. Thornton explained she praised God because the actress was able to reach a group, she couldn’t.
Thornton explained to Ebony, “I want people to say, ‘She took the adversities in her life and she used them for the goodness of God.'”

For more information about living with AIDS check out Thorton’s blog.

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7 WAYS TO SLEEP BETTER TONIGHT

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 6, 2010

1 Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Not only should your mattress be comfortable and your room dark, quiet and cool, you shouldn’t do anything except sleep or make love in there: No eating, working or watching TV. Light from screens signals your brain to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin, so it takes longer to nod off.

2 Hide the clock. Or at least turn it away while you’re sleeping. Digital clocks are particularly bad because their precise readouts are constant reminders that the night is ticking away and you’re still awake, says Daniel McNally, M.D., medical director of the University of Connecticut Sleep Disorders Center in Farmington.

3 Spend less time in bed. “Most people spend more time in bed to try to increase their hours of shut-eye,” says Bruce Rybarczyk, Ph.D., associate professor of clinical psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. But lying there awake breeds frustration. Instead, hit the pillow only for the hours that you are actually slumbering. This creates a greater desire for sleep so that when you finally do get in bed, you fall asleep faster and stay that way longer. As your sleep improves, you can gradually roll back your bedtime until you’re sleeping for a full night.

4 Don’t eat late. Eating at night affects levels of ghrelin, a hormone that regulates hunger and sleep. Ghrelin levels naturally rise in the evening, readying us for bed. But if we nosh at night our ghrelin levels drop so we don’t feel as sleepy. “One of the ways people keep themselves going until 1 A.M. is by eating late at night,” explains Craig Keebler, M.D., medical director of medical Weight Management at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

5 Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol. These are notorious sleep-stealers. Nicotine is a stimulant, plus cigarette cravings can wake you up at night. The effects of caffeine can last up to seven hours, so switch to decaf after 3 P.M. Alcohol’s sneakier: It’s sedating, but because it leaves your system quickly, that can wake you up and cause trouble getting back to sleep.

6 Have a bedtime ritual. “You need a half-hour of unwinding time before bed,” says Aparajitha Verma, M.D., medical director of the Methodist Sleep Disorder Center in Houston. “You can’t be doing all these active things, then suddenly switch it off and expect to sleep. You have to prepare yourself. Read, meditate, listen to music, whatever calms you down before getting into bed.”

7 Clear your head. A steady diet of shock media will surely keep you up at night. So if you tend to ruminate on the world’s ills, avoid material that will bother you, advises Ralph Pascualy, M.D., director of Sleep Medicine Associates in Seattle. “As people get tired, problems become much larger.”

One way to deal with worries that keep you up is to write down your concerns along with some possible solutions. Things don’t look so dire when you see them on paper, notes Dr. Pascualy. This simple act allows your brain to let go of your fears so you can get some rest. ________________ Quoted/Excerpted from (or Resource Links): 7 ways to sleep better tonight. Family Circle magazine. December 2008. p134.

Stephen L. Knubley, Principal
Knubley Counseling, LLC

From CCA: Which of these items do you already practice in some form? Which one stands out as a potentially useful and new practice? Remember that it takes about 30 days of daily application of a single new behavior to condition it into a habit. See our handout: MAKING NEW HABITS for more valuable information. Copyright © 2000-2009 Knubley Counseling, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Rev 9-9-09

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HABITS OF MIND

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on October 4, 2010

The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. — Wendell Berry
What good practices can we call upon when answers to problems are not readily apparent? The following 16 skills are efficient, effective, intelligent, and successful. Costa and Kallick* call them “Habits of Mind”:

1. PERSISTING
Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. — Marabel Morgan
Stick with the task until it is completed. Get comfortable with ambiguity. Sleep on it. Don’t be in a hurry.

2. MANAGING IMPULSIVITY
Emotional self-regulation is the ability to deny impulse in the service of a goal. — Daniel Goleman
Do not say or act on the first thing that comes to mind. Deliberate instead. Get a vision of a proper response or product before moving toward it. Develop the idea carefully.

3. LISTENING TO OTHERS WITH UNDERSTANDING AND EMPATHY
Listening is the beginning of understanding; wisdom is the reward of a lifetime of listening. The discerning get guidance. — Proverbs
Spend an inordinate amount of time understanding the other person’s point of view. Paraphrase them; observe cues to their emotional state. Observe apart from your own self-interests. Do not rehearse what you want to say while listening to another person talk. This is not to say you must agree with what the other is saying.

4. THINKING FLEXIBLY
If you never change your mind, why have one? — Edward deBono
Flexible thinkers have the most control over their mental processes. They have open minds, think laterally, see alternatives, and have a sense of humor. They can shift perspectives after considering short and long-term consequences. They think both subjectively and objectively. They get outside of themselves. They take risks. They can see the whole and the parts. They use their intuition. They enjoy confidence. They tolerate confusion and ambiguity. They draw upon the past, present, and future. Use metaphors and analogies.

5. THINKING ABOUT OUR THINKING (Meta-cognition)
When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself. — Plato
Evaluate our thought processes. Plan a strategy, identify the steps, give ourselves feedback so we can take alternate routes. Judge our thoughts. Question our perceptions. Reflect, reflect, reflect. Make mental maps. Rehearse. Accept change. Take time to reflect on our experiences. Question our learning strategies. Revise our decision-making processes. Pay attention to our inner awareness. Have recovery strategies.

6. STRIVING FOR ACCURACY AND PRECISION
A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake. — Confuscius
Take time to check over your work. Be a craftsman, an artisan, a professional; and trustworthy. Aim for the highest attainable standard. Be complete. Rework often. Do A+ work. Be conscientious and faithful. Keep your word.

7. QUESTIONING AND POSING PROBLEMS
Formulating the problem is often more essential than its solution. Use creative imagination to raise new questions. — Albert Einstein
Pose questions to fill the gaps between problems and solutions. Ask yourself: “What’s the evidence?  How do I know it is true? How reliable is the source data? Are their other points of view?  How are these related to each other? What would happen if…?

8. APPLYING PAST KNOWLEDGE TO NEW SITUATIONS
I’ve never made a mistake. I’ve only learned from experience. — Thomas Edison
To learn from experience is called wisdom. Abstract meaning from one experience and carry it forward to novel situations. Generalize your experiences.

9. THINKING AND COMMUNICATING WITH CLARITY AND PRECISION
After arriving at perfectly clear results, I find I can only translate my thoughts into an inaccurate language. — Francis Galton
A picture is worth a thousand words — at least. Profound and spontaneous insight is not our customary language. Critical thinking takes much work and refinement, especially if it is to communicate anything of value. Fuzzy language comes from fuzzy thinking. Imprecise language, either oral or written, is a form of laziness. Clear communication is specific and meaningful. However, there still are places for proverbs and riddles. Carefully choose your words, and use as few as possible.

10. GATHERING DATA THROUGH ALL SENSES
Observe perpetually. — Henry James
Tune into all of your senses for they provide you with a wealth of truth. Live in the present. Take control of your internal verbal dialogue if it is running without control. Develop your mental imaging. Massive amounts of information are assimilated as internal images and movies. We are creative beings. Be careful with your internal language of images. Viewing artwork and listening to classical music improves spatial reasoning. Role-play. Make models. Experiment with combinations. Pay attention to patterns, rhythms, and habits. Participate.

11. CREATING, IMAGINING, AND INNOVATING
We create the future and its pathways. Making them changes the maker and the destination. — John Schaar
Whether you believe we evolved from primordial soup or were created by the Divine, you have to admit we are very creative, ingenious, and prolific beings. Creative people must take risks to progress. Our motivations include challenges, necessities, and rewards. Be open to criticism. Be as a public speaker. Dance like no one is watching. Permit outside scrutiny, judgment, criticism. It is all good feedback. Strive for simplicity, harmony, beauty, craftsmanship, and perfection. Find your particular gift for your community. You are unique. You are you.

12. RESPOND WITH WONDERMENT AND AWE
There is the mysterious. — Job, Daniel, Matthew, Luke, Paul
Be passionate about what you do. Find what makes your tasks enjoyable. Never stop learning. Be charmed by the natural world. Let your mind and emotions wander. Drive into the country (nature). Dream; stimulate your vision(s). Pay attention to your “subconscious.” Ponder the inexplicable.

13. TAKING RESPONSIBLE RISKS
There is always the calculated risk. — Brooks Atkinson
Regularly, go beyond established limits. Go beyond comfort and competence. Go where the outcome is unknown. Be okay with the unknown, setbacks, and challenges. See risk as both venture and adventure. Be a doer and an observer. You can risk having failures. Living is not about money. Do not miss trying opportunities. It is okay to be wrong and to make mistakes. It is okay to change your mind. Do not avoid the ambiguous. Do not wait for certainties. All innovation is uncertain.

14. FINDING HUMOR
Where do bees wait? At the buzz stop. — Susie
Laughter is the best medicine (Reader’s Digest). Joy lowers pulse rate, secretes endorphins (feel-good chemicals), and increases oxygen in the blood. It reduces anxiety. It reduces a negative response to stress. It lifts our spirit and mood. It reduces depression. It helps relationships by de-emphasizing our own ego. It takes the sting out of events.
It normalizes us.

15. THINKING INTERDEPENDENTLY (Caring for one-another)
If you do not care for one-another, or share your strengths with one-another, you will not make it. — Willie Unsoeld (Mountain Climber)
We are social. We seek support and validation. If we want to hurt someone, we avoid them. Be cooperative. Be a team player. Care for the needs of your loved ones, friends, and associates. Develop your social skills. You are not alone. Be cooperative. Walk in agreement with others.

16. LEARNING CONTINUOUSLY
Insanity is doing the same things over and over but expecting different results. — Albert Einstein
Even if it works, there is probably a better way. Search for it. Stop feeling certain and defensive. Have humility. You probably don’t have all the answers. You really won’t know for sure until the end, and then you’ll discover that that is really the beginning.

___

Stephen L. Knubley, Principal
Knubley Counseling, LLC

_____________
Quoted/Excerpted from:
*Describing 16 Habits of Mind. Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. & Bena Kallick, Ph.D.

Copyright © 2000-2009 Knubley Counseling, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Rev 9-9-09

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How to de-stress in changing times

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on September 15, 2010

Maudie Kelly, MS
Human Development Specialist
University of Missouri Extension, St. Louis County

I’ve been hearing many people talk about the stress in their lives related to family, job, finances, etc. Recently I saw an article by Doc Childre on the Internet that addresses this issue and will share some of his points.

We seem to be in a period of rapidly changing times, which can make personal challenges even more difficult. It is not uncommon for us to become overwhelmed with stress, which then limits our capacity to cope. It may be a lengthy process to figure out how to reduce stress, but it is important for us to stay as physically and emotionally healthy as possible while we navigate through these difficult challenges.

Several practices can help us reduce stress and move forward as we deal with stressful issues.

· Communicate and interact with others. Share your feelings with someone, or even a group of people, who are going through similar experiences. Whether you are crying or laughing together, collective support can help lift your spirits, which in turn can release stress buildup.

· Open your heart. When in crisis, it is normal for people to “shut down” their heart feelings due to thoughts of shock, anger, fear and despair. While this is understandable, it is also important to have compassion for yourself. Try to reopen your heart feelings. One way might be to offer kindness and support to others in need. Even small acts of kindness and compassion can help you reestablish your footing and reduce stress that can affect your health. Much stress can be reduced by caring for and interacting with others.

· Express appreciation and gratitude. Every day, send genuine feelings of appreciation to someone or something—children, family members, pets or others. The practice of appreciation and gratitude has been proven to help people reconnect with
feelings of hope.

· Practice heart-focused breathing. Breathe while imagining your breath passing in and out through your heart area or the center of your chest. Envision yourself as taking time to refuel your system by breathing in an attitude of calm and balance. At other times, you may substitute with breathing the feeling of appreciation, compassion, or any other positive feeling you may choose. This can be done in a quiet place or while walking, jogging or eventually in a conversation with others. This technique is being taught throughout the world and can be very helpful in reducing anxiety and anger.

· Get plenty of sleep. Stress can make it harder to sleep, but sleep is especially important in times of crisis. Get what sleep you can. Try not to over-dramatize your concerns about it, which can only make it worse. Breathing an attitude of calm and relaxation for five minutes or so before bed has helped many people get more restful sleep. While some people may require sleep medications in certain situations, others may tend to over-medicate in the pursuit of quick fixes. Check out alternative methods in case something simple helps.

· Exercise regularly. People often don’t want to exercise when feeling stressed. Yet exercise can help clear the fog and tension accumulated from anxiety, anger and worry. Exercise won’t take away your reasons for getting stressed, but it strengthens your capacity to manage it.

· Don’t blame yourself. It doesn’t help to replay thoughts of things you could have done differently. We all have been caught off guard by unexpected changes. Moving forward is easier without carrying baggage about what you could have or should have done. Be easy on yourself.

Source: Children, Doc. De-Stress Kit for the Changing Times. Available free of charge at Institute of HeartMath Website, http://www.heartmath.org/destresskit.

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