August is here, summer is almost over and where has it gone? I remember an old saying about the “lazy, dog days of summer” and I ask where have they gone? Where are the quiet, relaxed days of summer; enjoying picnics and family walks from years ago?
Our lives continue to accelerate and are filled with many things – good things, but many things nonetheless. I have heard much talk about wanting the fall to come, to get back into a routine, and to rest up from a fun-filled full summer. It seems no matter what time of year, we continue to pack our schedules and add stress to them by trying to keep up at the expense of these summer fun times. We still only have 24 hours in a day, so why do we think we can keep adding things and not let other things go to make up for the time the new thing takes? Time has become the most valuable commodity we have.
This is the pattern we are teaching our children: go, go, go! Americans are so stressed. Employers are spending countless extra dollars in lost work time and productivity due to tiredness of their employees. The employees are losing money by missing work many times due to the result of being overly-stressed and tired, which bring on a plethora of health issues, many of which can become chronic and debilitating. The tiredness and stress go hand in hand as our minds continue to flow at such a rate that we have a hard time relaxing and are irritable with our co-workers, friends, and families. Is this really how you want to spend your days and be remembered by your loved ones?
Your time, for the most part, is under your control; manage it or it will manage you. There are many self-help books about time management, but the end result is in actually applying the knowledge and starting to say “no” when necessary. When saying “no” more often, you can say “yes” to family time to relax. How long has it been since you’ve just sat and talked as a family or played a game? What about heading up to Presque Isle and walking along the trail or the beach? Did you know they have free concerts every Wednesday night? What about our local Moraine State Park or even the movies hosted down town in Festival Park? It doesn’t have to cost money to have a good time, relax, and meet friends. Communication is very therapeutic. Do you take time to talk to your spouse each day? Have a cup of organic coffee or tea and just relax and talk. Doing a nice foot massage afterwards is a great way to relax the entire body also.
Stress is still the number one underlying cause for most illnesses. Our immune systems were designed to keep us alive and they have a “fight or flight” response when stress is high and our bodies need extra protection, knowing that it can recuperate itself when the danger is over and rest is restored. The problem today is that we hardly ever get to the part of restoration and our immune system is stressed and can’t keep up. The only time our bodies truly restore and heal is during deep delta wave sleep which our body cycles in and out of about 5 times a night. How many of you are sleeping all night long (6-8 hours) and feeling refreshed in the morning? Or is your mind (stress) keeping you from getting to sleep and then even waking you up in the middle of the night because it won’t stop? Do you ever notice how much larger problems seem in the dark of the night compared to when you think about them in the middle of the day? How do you feel in the morning: refreshed and ready for the day, or tired and exhausted, dreading the day? Just take a minute to really evaluate your lifestyle.
I encourage you to look at your schedules and manage them. Rate every entry on the importance it has to what your priorities in life are and then delete some and keep others. Now there will still be times when you get stressed and you need to make it a priority to take care of yourself during those times. Other things need to be done on a regular basis in order for your body to handle life with its ups and downs. There are many things you can do that have been proven to help. I will list a few to think upon:
Relaxation, therapeutic massage has been known for hundred of years to reduce stress while improving immune function. The more often it is done, the better impact it has on the body. Table massage is the most effective, but even a 15 minute seated massage goes a long way in handling the effects of stress on our bodies. Call to make your appointment with Charlene or Joe!
Calm Day: A blend of herbs and Vitamin B complex to supplement the body’s needs during stress. Stress depletes Vitamin B reserves.
Cataplex B: A whole food Vitamin B complex that replaces those vitamins used up with stress – and it’s great for your heart too!
Min Tran: A blend of calming minerals taken before bed can help ease the mind and help get that good night’s rest.
Sleep Time: We need 6-8 hours of good rest a night for the body to restore and rebuild. Increased stress keeps this from happening. This a great supplement to help people fall asleep and stay asleep for a full restorative night’s sleep!
Food: Our body can heal or be stressed and inflamed by what we feed it. Learn what makes the difference. We can help with this by an individual evaluations.
TV Fast: Turn it off and turn on family time or get that little project under way that you’ve been putting off. You’ll feel so much better having it done and not just sitting there waiting for you! Projects are great family times, too – with the satisfaction of a job well done.
There are many ways to help keep your life and schedules manageable; you just need to be proactive in determining what it is you need and then do it. Summer times are fun times, so please make time to eat healthy, to be healthy, and to connect with friends and family. When summer is done, do you want to look back and say “Gee, I’m glad I spent so much time at the office,” or will you say, “I am so glad we took the time to make memories and relax while the weather and our schedules permitted it!” The choice continues to be up to each of us and it’s also up to us to teach the next generation.