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As much as I love the winter months (when we are lucky enough to get snow) and all of the fun holiday activities - it;s hard for me to stay healthy sometimes, partially because of the weather, and partly due to the extra stress that seems to happen with busy schedules and cabin fever. I think the worst part about being mentally stressed is how our body physically reacts to it. I, for instance, always seem to carry my stress in my shoulders and my digestive system balance is non-existent. It seriously goes completely out of whack.
I've realized over the years just how closely staying healthy and minimizing stress goes hand in hand.
If you are stressed you are less likely to make healthy lifestyle choices
Making healthy lifestyle choices will help you better cope with whatever kind of stress comes your way.
It's taken a few years for me to finally figure this out, but I've been implementing some things this winter that have been helping me out a lot, and I wanted to share them with you!
1. Take time for yourself. I used to feel guilty about leaving my family for a couple of hours or not having all of the laundry folded - but now I realize that when I take time for me I'm a much better wife and mom. Some things I do to relax include: write, get a pedicure, take hot baths, read a new book, sip coffee in a coffee shop (alone!), and catch up with my friends.
2. Stay Active. Just as much as you need downtime, your body also needs physical activity. Our bodies are all about balance. In past years I did so well with walking and exercising in the summer months, only to find myself taking a four month long break when the rainy weather set in. This winter though, I've been doing better. I got a gym membership and workout a couple of hours a week as well as walk/jog with a friend around our high school track 2-3 evenings a week - even in the rain. It's actually almost like dancing in the rain, which I hear is good for your soul. Anyways - just try it. You won't melt! I promise.
3. Laugh. Believe it or not, laughing will help you stay healthy and fight off stress. It's hard to be in a good mood sometimes when your whole family is cooped up indoors, but watching a funny movie together or playing a silly game with your kids will do wonders for your mind - and body.
4. Eat all of the colors of the rainbow. I've been guilty of it...making a meal and then sitting down only to realize how bland the colors are! I'm personally not one for dieting, but eating whatever you'd like as long as it;s in moderation, and the best way to know you are maximizing the nutrients in your meals is by having a variety of colors on your plate. It's a simple trick to stay healthy, plus bright colors in cloudy months are always appreciated.
5. Recognize when your body is stressed - and do something about it. Like I mentioned earlier - when I'm stressed my shoulders tense up and my stomach and digestive system just shut down. In addition to figuring out what is stressing you so you can minimize or eliminate it, you also need to do things to alleviate the symptoms caused by it, like using heat packs for tense muscles and probiotics for digestive health. I've been taking Insync Probiotic for about 3 weeks now and it's been helping me get my digestive system balanced again. Insync Probiotic's have a bunch of beneficial bacteria (the kind your body needs to maintain digestive health). Insync Probiotic's are also time released, so after you take the pill it gradually releases the good bacteria into your stomach so that will help protect the probiotics from your stomach acid.
If you are interested in trying probiotics, Insync Probiotic can be found at most Walgreens!
Above all remember: happy people are generally healthier people.