Time out for busy moms

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Tension–relieving tricks for multitasking mothers

hammock

By CAROLYN ASPENSON 

Moms don’t get a day off. In fact, moms rarely get a few hours off. Stay-at-home moms and working moms alike experience stress that, if not alleviated, can cause long-term damage. Damage like heart disease, risk of stroke and yes, even cancer.

Of course, a proper diet and exercise program and getting at least seven hours of sleep are the key factors to stress reduction, but we live in the real world and the real world doesn’t always play nice.

There are other ways to help reduce stress. The next time you’re feeling the pressure, consider trying these:

  1. Short bursts of exercise: No time to go to the gym? No problem. Spend five or 10 minutes squatting, lunging or even doing jumping jacks. Something to get blood circulating and to release feel-good endorphins relieves stress and instantly improves moods. A “quickie” will have a similar result, and just might make your partner more willing to take on additional tasks. Bonus!
  2. Breathe deeply: Slow, focused, deep breaths in and out increase oxygen levels and improve blood flow, which improves bodily functions. Do 10 – 15 of these throughout the day and you’ll see a noticeable difference in stress levels.
  3. Positive visualization: Every morning, take a few minutes and visualize a positive, productive day. Similar to the laws of attraction, what you put out for yourself impacts what you feel and rejuvenates the body.
  4. Stretch: A few head rolls (never back, always to the sides and forward), shoulder, upper back stretches and anything to elongate your torso will provide instant relief and improve flexibility. A few of these each morning and whenever possible throughout the day can perform miracles.
  5. Hydrate: Dehydration causes headaches, bloating, tight muscles and a many other medical issues. Increased water intake improves body functions. Once your body is in a constant state of hydration, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

Remember, stress is the cause of several physical and emotional ailments, but practicing a few simple yet effective tension-relieving tricks can minimize current damage and even halt potential issues.

Carolyn has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast for over 15 years. She holds certifications from nationally recognized organizations in both fitness and nutrition. She can be reached at craspen@comcast.net.

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