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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Take Time to Take Time...for Yourself

Hey Everyone!!!

For some reason, I have been unable to post any pictures on here for the last week. I feel like giving up, but hopefully it will all be fixed soon. What's a blog without pictures right?

So, I know I've been absent from this blog over the last couple of days, but I promise it was completely necessary! You know that feeling when you feel like if you stop moving for even a second, your life will collapse into itself and you'll never be able to catch back up? No, it's just me huh??!? Well, that's the kind of week I've been having. Between baking tons of cake pops and cookies for my niece's dance recital, flipping around on the trapeze getting ready for our performance in July, going to birthday parties, working out with my trainer at Hitchfit, cooking healthy meals, practicing choreo. for new Zumba workouts, etc., etc., etc....I'm a little overbooked! Thank goodness it should slow down a little bit soon. :) So, with all that, I needed a break from writing just so I could keep my head above the water....BUT now I'm back from outer space...oh yes...that just happened! :)

Since I just enlightened you on all of my activities, I feel today's topic should be based around something I don't do well (and maybe you don't either): Relaxing!!!

It sounds simple enough, doesn't it? What does it mean to relax the mind and body? Take a few breaths, count to ten, take a nap? All good ideas, but what is the real goal behind all of it and why is it necessary? I mean, the body will tell you when its had too much going on, right? Yes...but usually a hospital visit or a mental breakdown occurs in order for you to get to that point first (if you don't realize that you need a break in time). After all, some stress is good for us...it keeps us motivated to reach our goals. The problem lies in the fact that some of us strive so hard to reach our goals that we end up forgetting to take care of ourselves in the process, which generally ends up delaying our goals anyway while we are forced by our bodies to recover.

Taking time to relax is extremely important! As our bodies (including our minds) take on the stress from daily activities, our muscles tighten. This is followed by increased activity by the heart and lungs, as our organs try to stay ahead of our needs. Our minds revert back to the instinctive idea of fighting or fleeing the object causing the stress and we reach a peak in physical and mental pressure. This occurs many times throughout the day and becomes extremely taxing on our bodies, leading to chronic illness if not treated properly in time. The only way to treat this process (or slow it down), is to take time to relax each day.

According to Dartmouth University, stress is one of the number one causes of chronic illness in the world today. There are at least six chronic illnesses caused by stress to include heart conditions, cancer, cirrhosis, depression, etc. Click here to go to the source of this information. You MUST take the time to take time for yourself!!! Even 1 minute of relaxation can make a difference for your overall level of health.

So, with all this in mind, take the next minute to close your eyes. Tune out all the noise around you. Put on some relaxing music if you need/want it. Now...spend one minute clearing your mind. If you find yourself thinking about something that needs to be done, push it out of focus for the time being and instead, focus on breathing. If you have a hard time focusing on nothing, count the numbers 1 to 60 to give your mind something to occupy itself. Breathe in deeply. Most of us take shallow breaths throughout the day and our lungs are never able to expand fully in order to get enough oxygen. It's amazing what a couple deep breaths can do to instantly provide a relaxed state of mind.

Our bodies are constantly fighting to keep up with our rigorous schedules. If you don't take care of your body, it won't take care of you. So, give your body a break. Get a massage, take a hot shower/bath, meditate to peaceful music, sit in a quiet room and focus on breathing, practice yoga, go for a walk, etc. It's not selfish to take time for yourself. After all, if you don't, someone else will be taking their time to take care of you later (and to me, that's more selfish since it's preventable now).

Now BREATHE...

Have a great day! See you tomorrow!

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*Disclaimer: All of the information provided here is the opinion of the author after thorough research of medical surveys, medical reports, and medical/government web site information. It has not been reviewed by a medical professional and results cannot be guaranteed by the author. Consult with your doctor before planning any diet or fitness changes.

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