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  • Dr. Z.

Take a minute and breathe.

Many of us are hustling and bustling trying to get everything in order. The laundry list of “things to do” gets longer and longer. Whether it’s getting the car repaired or inspected, working a few extra hours, trying to squeeze in the gym, food shopping, actually cooking the food that was just purchased, and managing the kids and their schedules. Work has demanding deadlines, or maybe we have a boss that we just don’t like, or maybe that worker annoys you when they chew, or perhaps you’re tired of your job and you need something. All of these thoughts and nonstop movements lead us to forget about taking care of ourselves. When the gym becomes just another chore and you no longer enjoy the workout and work becomes monotonous, this means you have lost the joy in the things that you do. Take that lunch break that you’re entitled to that you probably pass up because you’re in an extended meeting or eating at your desk. Try a different class at the gym or perhaps a personal trainer. Maybe the same routine needs to be spiced up. Take a moment to actually sip your coffee, tea, or juice and just breathe. Closing your eyes and deep breathing can release anxiety, worries, and stress. Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. Also, be present with how you are feeling. There are times when we become upset or anxious but we’re unsure why, or we know the source but can’t understand why we feel flushed, lightheaded, weight on our chest. Take 5 minutes and focus on only one behavior with awareness. Notice how the air feels on your face when you’re walking and how your feet feel hitting the ground. Enjoy the texture and taste of each bite of food. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense. Another option is reaching out to someone in your social network and connecting with them. Taking the time out to make a phone call and express how you are feeling to someone can help release some of the angst. Your social network is one of your best tools for handling stress. Talk to others; preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.

Dr. Z

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