Five Easy Ways To Bring Family Time Into Your Day; Balancing Work And Family Stresses
The pace of life seems to quicken every year. More and more time is spent rushing from job to after school activities or evening meetings. It's easy to get over whelmed and to loose a sense of family and relaxation in our homes. Here are a few ideas to help strengthen your family and to keep some of life's pressures and stresses out of the home.
~ Be involved but learn how to say No, once in a while. You want to be an involved informed parent but you need to keep your schedule sane. So don't volunteer for everything and don't sign your kids up for every after school sport or activity. Set limits on these activities, car pool whenever possible, and limit the activities you volunteer for and your children participate in to two for each half of the school year.
~ Week long family vacations are great but sometimes you need a family break more often. Plan mini retreats that give you a break from your routine and allow down time where you can just hang out. See if a local hotel with a swimming pool has off-season rates. Then get together with one or two other families whose company you enjoy and book a night in the hotel. Bring swimsuits for the kids and a good book for yourself. You can also turn off the TV, telephone, computer, and CD player for the night, cook an easy meal or order take out and tell stories or play cards or a board game. Teenagers may think its hokey at first but they really do appreciate the change of pace and the time with their family.
~ Eat dinner at the table not in front of the TV or standing in the kitchen grabbing a quick bite just before rushing out to the next activity. Consciously eating your meals not only improves digestion but also allows you thirty minutes to slow down and reconnect; sharing things that happened during the day. Make it mandatory and after a few weeks you will see how everyone really looks forward to this short peace of family time each night.
~ Develop family traditions with your immediate and extended family members. Come up with a special night once or twice a year that isn't tied to a holiday. Have everyone who comes make something to eat, even the littlest ones. Share what you have been doing since the last get together and come up with some fun game everyone can get involved in. Horse shoes, softball, badminton, the game isn't important it's the time you spend together just goofing around without judgment and the pressures of the regular schedule of life.
~ Keep expectations of achievement in school at a reasonable level; encourage your children to strive for things and work at a level that always gives them a bit of a challenge, but don't push them into situations that are too different or may regularly affect their self esteem.
About The Author
©BZ Riger-Hull - www.in-spiros.com
For valuable free articles, assessments, & practical success toolsmailto:A1@smartautoresponder.com Certified as a Success Coach, "Four Agreements" Facilitator, & Tele-Course leader We help you communicate powerfully, reduce stress, Strategically Attract success, & increase your financial well-being.
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Stress Causing People to ?Super Size?
Stress Causing People to "Super Size"by Georgianna Donadio D.C., M.Sc., Ph.D. It is currently reported that two out of three adults is either overweight or obese, and the numbers continue to climb. As a result, statistics demonstrate that a significant portion of our population is being diagnosed with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Even more shocking is that we are experiencing these conditions at earlier ages than previously reported. It is not unusual today, to hear about a young person in their 20's diagnosed with mature onset diabetes, normally developed during middle-age. On May 7, 2004, a controversial and award-winning movie aimed at exploring the obesity epidemic hit theatres. In "Super Size Me", a tongue-in-cheek look at the legal, financial and physical costs of our hunger for fast food, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores the horrors of school lunch programs, declining health education and physical education classes, food addictions and the extreme measures people take to lose weight. As a centerpiece of the film, Spurlock puts his own body on the line, living on nothing but McDonald's for 30 days following three rules:1) Eat only what is available over the counter2) No supersizing unless offered3) Consume every item on the menu at least onceIn the end, Spurlock has a weight gain of 24 pounds and experiences harrowing visits to the doctor. The issues that are explored in "Super Size Me" beg the question, what has changed in our environment to cause this obesity problem to reach epidemic proportions? Furthermore, what is causing people to overeat as we do? A groundbreaking study, reported in 2003 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that between 1977 and 1996, portion sizes for key food groups grew markedly in the United States, not only at fast-food restaurants but also in homes and at conventional restaurants. In particular, portion sizes for salty and sugary foods, essentially, "comfort foods" experienced the most dramatic portion size increases. For example, the USDA's recommended serving size for a cookie is half an ounce, while the average cookie sold in restaurants was found to be 700% larger. The by-products of our affluent American society, envied by many around the world, have a definite dark side, our obesity rate, for starters. In a culture where more is better and disposable income is abundant, when it comes to eating we have developed a "more food, more conveniently and more often" attitude. Stress: A Pre-Cursor to Obesity Certainly, no one forces us to eat more than our body needs, so what is driving this "hunger" for more? Over the last two decades, almost proportionally to the dramatic increase of food consumed and chronic disease diagnoses, the amount of stress in our society and on each of us individually has increased significantly. Stress is the term medical researcher Hans Selye, M.D., PhD, gave to the experience our bodies go through when we have to adjust or adapt to the various changes our bodies experience during the course of the day. While many of us think of stress in relationship to emotional states, many other factors can exert an equally detrimental effect on our bodies as well. When we do not get enough sleep or rest, work or exercise too much, nutritional status, have an infection, have allergies, injuries or trauma, undergo dental or surgical procedures, have emotional upsets, or deal with any aspect of reproductive function such a pregnancy, menopause, etc., our bodies must chemically and neurologically adapt in order to survive. Part of this adaptation process relies heavily on the nutrition that is available for the kidney's adrenal glands to produce the adaptive hormones. It is often this aspect of stress that can lead to overeating, and what's more, overeating the types of foods that cause unhealthy weight gain. How it works Thanks to the work of M.I.T. Professor Judith Wurtman, Ph.D. and others we now understand the significant role that a neurotransmitter or "chemical messenger" called Serotonin plays in producing our cravings for complex carbohydrates and sugars, two of the largest contributors to unhealthy weight gain. Serotonin along with other neurotransmitters, are produced by our bodies as "feel good" hormones. Under stress, we do not have enough of these hormones and we become motivated to "self-sooth" by behaviors that lead to the increase of Serotonin. Overeating of carbohydrate and fatty-rich foods or "comfort foods" such as cookies, ice cream, etc. significantly increases these hormones. Many addictions such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs are also attempts to self-sooth and increase Serotonin, but no other addictive or unhealthy behavior is as socially acceptable and as easily available as over eating. We can do it anywhere, anytime, alone or with company. It is no wonder we have such a love affair with eating. In addition, our bodies need for certain nutrients, specifically protein, Vitamins A, C, and E, unsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and minerals, skyrocket when we are "adapting" under stress. Often, if we do not stop the stress cycle or do not appropriately supplement these nutrients, we can turn to overeating to satisfy the body's demands for the fuel it needs to keep dealing with the stress we are experiencing. For a period of time, foods that comfort, sooth or supplement can make us feel calmer until our level of Serotonin drops again or until we become more exhausted and need to feed ourselves, yet again. Then, we start the cycle all over and consume more carbohydrate and fatty rich foods until we feel better. This is the cycle of self-medication or self-soothing practiced in homes, offices, restaurants, automobiles and yes, even bathrooms across America. The long-term effect of such behaviors, apart from obesity and escalating chronic diseases, is that our nervous systems are being hyper-stimulated. Anxiety, exhaustion, depression, overeating and insomnia are just a few of the symptoms we experience when our nervous systems are working on overload. As a result, it is no wonder that within the last year, low-carbohydrate diets have proven effective for so many people. Approximately 20% of Americans or 20 million people are currently on a low-carb diet. For many of us, our stress level is a major factor in the over consumption of carbohydrates, therefore reducing or eating normal amounts of carbohydrates is spawning weight loss. The real issue, however, is how long can we reduce are carbohydrate loading without reducing our stress levels and the behaviors that create elevated stress in the first place? Causes of Stress Prior to the early 1970's, the majority of family units were structured as a one wage earner household where the male worked and the female stayed at home, taking care of the house and family. Driven largely by social and socio-economic factors, all of that has changed. Now, the overwhelming majority of families include both parents working and we find ourselves on a treadmill of more work, more responsibilities, more demands and non-stop scheduling that has many of us in a state of physical and, at times, emotional exhaustion. Added to the mix is our competitive culture, which often leads to isolation or a "them against us" thinking. Isolation of this nature causes additional "hidden" stress. A Hindu Vendata truth is that "the whole world is one family". It is said that there is only one disease, the disease of separateness; separating oneself from the awareness that as members of the human family, we are one living organism. The drama created by a "one-up" or "one-down" dynamic, that we find in competitive societies, can lead to the exhaustion and the psychosocial behavioral issues which can contribute to overeating. Understanding Exhaustion and its' Effect on Obesity The tipping point at which our bodies can no longer compensate or adapt from the stress it is under, is based in large part on the threshold of nutritional competency and the state of integrity of our nervous system. When our central nervous system, which governs every cell in our body and makes life possible, is not working efficiently, we have a decrease in bodily function and the ability to adapt to the world we live in. Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, CFS, are rampant in our culture today and growing at an alarming rate because of the over stimulation and increased demands placed on our nervous systems. Add to this inadequate nutrition and a decreased ability of our bodies to digest and absorb properly because of the stress, and we see the foundation of the epidemic of chronic diseases being currently reported. What is so shocking for us, as Americans, is that while we live in one of the most affluent societies ever to exist on earth and have one of the most technologically advanced medical systems we are raked at approximately twenty-sixth in the world health Olympics. This is not the failure of our medical system, but in fact, the failure to live in our bodies mindfully and respectfully, taking time for rest, proper nutrition, reflection, intimacy with self and others and serving the common good of society. It is this imbalance that leads us to chronic stress, which leads to physical and, if you will, spiritual exhaustion that is producing the levels of chronic diseases and the rampant obesity we see today. Self-Esteem and Health We have an innate understanding of how we need to choose to live to be healthy.Yet, adages about health i.e., "early to be, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise", are often ignored in place of our instant gratification or immediate comfort.Physical labor has taken a back seat to "mind work", and today we work harder than ever before to have the money to buy a membership to a gym or spa so we can do the physical exercise we need to be healthy and attractive. However, rarely do we actually have the time to go to the gym we pay membership fees to. Statistically, the average gym membership is used for the first 4 ? 6 weeks after signing up and then falls off dramatically. Workout facilities count on this phenomenon when planning their recruitment and enrollment numbers. Likewise, diet plans and weight loss centers know that 90% or more of their customers will continue to have body weight issues, in spite of their best efforts to re-direct to a different way of eating. Why? The Oprah Syndrome One of the most powerful, successful people in the world, Oprah Winfrey is a brilliant example of the "super size" syndrome in our culture. With every possible service, care and expert available to her, Oprah has continued to struggle with significant weight gain and loss for many years. In 2001, a chart published in a popular magazine, documents her weight gain and loss over the previous 20 years. Even during the height of her popularity and professional success, her body weight rose to dangerously elevated levels. The reasons most of us give for not taking care of ourselves include; not having enough time to shop for or cook the right foods; not being sure what's best for our body type; not enough money for domestic help so we can exercise, meditate or relax; stress over money and achieving success. Oprah is an individual who has more than enough money and success to eliminate all those concerns, yet in spite of that she still does not consistently maintain a proper body weight. Driven by personal history and ambition, Oprah offers a perfect example of the potential outcome of Serotonin driven self-soothing, which invites us to ask and answer questions about self-esteem and self care. When we understand the relationship between our unconscious mind, our self-esteem and the serotonin connection, it becomes quite clear that what is at the core of our "super sizing" is not solved by the "diet of the month" or the next "how to" bestseller. 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Quite opposite from our "in your face" attitude of self-manifestation, Eastern wisdom invites us to ponder, "how much do I really need; to do; to have; to eat; to own; to control; to be content with my life; and what is the role of gratitude in my life?" Shouldn't having a calm, well functioning nervous system, the source of all life in the body, be a main objective for all of us instead of trying to trick the body into doing what we want with the latest diet craze or vitamin pills available? Change the Question It may be time to change the questions we not only ask ourselves, but the questions we are asked as consumers. Maybe, if when making his fast food purchases, Morgan Spurlock was asked the question "super size or down size, sir?" the choices he might have made could have resulted in significant weight loss rather than weight gain, but then Spurlock would not have a movie to make, or the millions that will be realized from it.
Calming The Voice of Stress
But how can this happen to someone?
Training Your Mind For Better Business and Leisure
Training Your Mind For Better Business and Leisure
How Stress Effects Neurotransmitters
The brain uses feel-good transmitters called endorphins when managing daily stress. When the brain requires larger amounts of endorphins to handle increased stress, the ratio of many of the other transmitters, one to another, becomes upset creating a chemical imbalance. We begin to feel stress more acutely -- a sense of urgency and anxiety creates even more stress. As a result, harmful chemicals are released in our bodies that may do damage, causing more stress. This vicious cycle is called the "stress cycle." Emotional fatigue might result and be experienced and felt as depression.
Stress Management and Mastery: How to Handle Change
Q. I have just recently come to recognize that I don't handle change very well, although my husband and friends have told me that for years. I seem to have trouble with changes that are out of my control. And then when I try to change things I want to change, I just don't know what to do and get bogged down. What do you recommend?
Relieve Anxiety with Hypnosis
There are two types of anxiety:
Extreme Self-care: Make Time for Yourself
If you've recently experienced loss or are going through a time of high-stress or uncertainty, it's important that you make a special effort to look after yourself. Here are a few things you can do to care for yourself physically and emotionally:
Stress Management and Creating Balance
The World Health Organization calls stress "the health epidemic of the 21st century." Stress resulting in illness is the causative factor underlying more than 70% of all visits to the family doctor, medical doctors suggest. What is stress? We all talk about it but what does 'stress' mean and how does it affect our bodies?
The fast pace of life is taking toll on every city dweller, right from students to home makers and workers to managers, every body is hit by the bug of the stress. Modern technological development and communication aids are adding to the stress because of their high speed. Traveling, exams, admissions etc. at times are too stressful for students as well as parents living hectic lifestyle. Stressed individuals are paying heavy toll in terms of health and well being as they are more prone to stress induced diseases such as headaches, upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Most people get trapped into the vicious circle of stress induced diseases and find it difficult to tackle it at later stage. Hence it is very important for us to learn to manage the stress.
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Have you ever said the words, "This job/my life is so stressful!" Or something else along those lines?
Is Worry Necessary?
Who hasn't experienced "worry" at one time or another? Almost everyone I'm sure. As a result many if not all consider this to be not only a normal human "emotion" but also a necessary fact of life. I would like to show here that in fact "worry" is completely unnecessary.
Setting High Personal Standards
In his book, The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness, author Greg Anderson wrote, "Let us be about setting high standards for life, love, creativity, and wisdom. If our expectations in these areas are low, we are not likely to experience wellness. Setting high standards makes every day and every decade worth looking forward to."
Stress in the Workplace
Why are you so busy? Do you really have too much work? Is work so important to you that you'll sacrifice just about anything in your life to get the job done? Even if it's at the expense of your health and your relationships? Stress in the workplace can be caused by many factors, however from my experience I've found for many people it is their inability to organise themselves and their time. They also have difficulty saying 'no'. Or worse still, you may be a work addict.
Stress Management--Getting the Better of the Daily Grind
There are many kinds of daily grinds. In the U.S. Corporate world today, to be busy working 12-16 hours a day is a sign of importance and ambition. The more time you spend at your job, the more you are envied-the harder you work, the higher you rise up the corporate ladder.
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