A Reminder to Stress Less

As the Holiday season begins approaching (or might already be here) I am going to start a series of blog posts with topics and tips to help you stay healthy and in check during the hectic and fun season. This week I am starting by re-posting an old piece of mine because it is such an important topic; stress. I hope everyone can take a moment today to read, reflect, and incorporate one of these tricks into their routine!

Are you constantly stressed out or are you in a chronic state of stress and do not even realize?


Stress has so many immediate and long term negative effects on the body. These harmful effects can be both physical and mental. Stress can induce chronic disease, anxiety, depression, heart attacks, panic attacks, and other difficult health issues. Matter of fact, 90% of all chronic disease is caused by stress, and to make it worse, about 70% of the population knows that they are stressed out and only about 25-30% try to do something about it.

What are easy ways to reduce or deal with stress?

  1. Breath. Yes, this may sound corny, but if you can really pause for a few minutes, close your eyes, and practice deep breathing you will immediately feel less stressed. Scientifically, your body can not release the hormone that causes relaxation at the same time as the hormones causing stress therefore this practice works if you focus. Simply inhale 4 to 8 counts of breath and exhale the same; repeat for a few minutes.
  2. Journal. Taking a few minutes to write out how you are feeling will help you prioritize, organize, and refocus your thoughts. It may bring a new perspective or give you an “aha” moment that will help you calm down and distress.
  3. Move. Many people find that exercise is a great way to release stress from the body. It can take your mind away from the issues or challenges at hand while pushing your body into a new level of awareness. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that cause you to feel good and motivate you to eat well and work harder. Exercise can be strenuous or just a light walk.
  4. Sleep. So many people underestimate the importance of getting AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep every night. Inadequate sleep leads to decreases in important hormones that help manage stress levels within the body.
  5. Hydrate. Dehydration does not allow your brain or body to function properly. Drinking the recommended amounts of water daily and avoiding large amounts of caffeine will help keep your mind conscious and more able to deal with challenges and changes thrown at you.
  6. Eat Right. Avoid processed, sugary, or fatty foods. Having a strong and healthy body will give you more energy and fuel to work through stress or even totally avoid it.

    Here is a great article that discusses foods that aid with stress relief via Mind Body Green: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4170/7-Foods-to-Fight-Stress.html

Book Review: “The New Health Rules” by Frank Lipman & Danielle Claro

image via amazon.com

This week I purchased the book, The New Health Rules, after hearing it was getting incredible reviews in the health & fitness world. I sat down one night after work and read through it front to back in less than hour. It is a quick read, very well written, and most importantly contains easy to understand knowledge to aid you in achieving overall health and wellness. What I love most about this book is, that it is in no way a diet or weight loss book. Its’ tagline explains it all; “Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness.”

The book begins in the best way; Frank reassures all his readers that anyone can take what they want from this book. He explains to everyone that they do not have to follow every “rule” in this book, but to just take baby steps and incorporate new rules slowly over time.

Okay, okay now to the good stuff..Frank divides the book into five sections that affect your health and wellness: Eating, Moving, Boosting, Healing and Living. I am going to share two or three of my favorite rules from each section and save the rest for you all to read and enjoy on your own!


Fat Is Good for You
-Your body needs fat; the good fats in order to be nourished. Do not cut out fats completely! Eating avocados, raw nuts, coconut oil, grass-fed meats, and fatty fish are extremely beneficial for your body.

Everything You Know About Breakfast is Wrong
-Start to move away from having grains and fruit at breakfast. Your body will flourish if you consume healthy fats and protein. Frank suggests meals like eggs with greens or half an avocado sprinkled with spices and squeezed lemon.



Strong and Stretchy
-Everyone needs to find balance in their workouts. Trying to incorporate strength training as well as stretching into your workout routine a few times a week helps prevent injuries, improve posture, and keeps bones healthy.

Move Five Minutes Out of Every Hour
-This is easy and something I want to make a goal for myself every day; especially at work. Simply, move for five minutes once an hour. Get up take a walk around the office, go up and down a flight of stairs or just stand up and stretch in your office or cubical. This allows your body to change shapes and allows your mind a mental break and a few minutes to restart as well.


Spend Lots of Time with People You Love
-Spending time with people you love is a boost to your immune system. Your body and mind needs laughter and deep conversations that allow you to have your guard down. You have to make time to be yourself and hopefully you can incorporate this into your life daily. Physical time with these people is more beneficial than through the phone or other pieces of technology.

Sleep – Train Yourself
-Train your body to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Your body will adjust and learn to produce melatonin (hormone that aids sleep) an hour before your bed time and serotonin (hormone that helps you wake up) an hour before your alarm goes off. Soon enough you will not even need an alarm, your body will wake up on its own!


Do Something You Love for at Least 10 Minutes a Day
-This is something you might find surprising, but most of us don’t do this. Make it part of your schedule each day. Take a walk, a long shower, paint your nails, blast some music; anything that makes you smile!

Let it Go
-This one is something I personally strive to work for every day. When a stressful situation occurs, try journaling about it. This helps release your emotions and provide clarity. After, partake in an activity that takes your mind off things and allows your thoughts to wander in a more positive direction.

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Green Your Cleaners One by One
-Every day we learn more and more about the harsh chemicals that can be found in all our household products. Frank suggests not to immediately start throwing everything away, but simply start replacing each of your products to an all-natural option as they run out. There are many safe and non chemical alternatives these days.

Clutter is the Junk Food of the Home
-Take a day or weekend to clean out, throw away, and organize your house. You will not believe the feeling you have after. Many of us hoard with or without realizing and hold on to things that no longer benefit us, and by getting rid of them your body and mind feel better and function more smoothly.

I HIGHLY recommend for everyone to read this book, especially for those who want to begin a healthier lifestyle in 2015!

Resources: “The New Health Rules” by Frank Lipman & Danielle Claro

This article also appears on Women’s iLab to inspire the next generation of female leaders.