Feeling a bit overwhelmed these days? Holiday pressures combined with the pressures of daily life can build up. Sometimes I feel like I’m coming apart!
But I’m determined not to come apart. Instead, I’m coming up with my personal checklist to make sure that the pressures of life are not leading me into a dangerous mindset and reverting to old bad habits.
Here’s what’s on my list:
- Go outside. Studies show stepping outside into the sunshine can have a positive affect on your mood. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. You get it naturally when directly exposed to the sun. It has lots of benefits like aiding in absorption of calcium, boosting your immune system and helping grow healthy bones and teeth.
- Stretch. Stand up and touch your toes. I have to do this several times a day to keep my hamstrings from tightening up and to keep my artificial knees healthy. Stretching your hamstrings and lower back also helps to boost circulation. It’s important to get blood and oxygen to your joints. Stretching also helps with long-term mobility and balance. Even if you can’t touch your toes, reach as far as you can and hold it for at least ten seconds. Feeling better?
- Drink a glass of water. Hydration is exhilaration! The benefits of drinking a glass of water, especially first thing in the morning, are amazing. Research shows the benefits include clearer thinking, a metabolism jumpstart and an immune system boost. At work and feeling a physical or mental slump? Drink a glass of water. You will feel energized immediately.
- Write a thank you note. My friend Ginger altered my favorite workout tops so the arm holes are not so big. I love these tank tops but because of the way they are made, I feel like I have to wear two! I am so grateful Ginger is a seamstress. I buy lovely thank you cards at the dollar store and keep them by my Bible. As I was giving thanks for Ginger during my quiet time, I wrote her a thank you card. Expressing gratitude will always make you and the one receiving it feel better. I know it works! I get this encouragement all the time from some of you.
- Take a praise break. Sit quietly and turn off your modern technology. Meditate on a favorite Scripture verse; sing a praise song or read a psalm out loud to God. Or if you are one who needs movement, get up and praise Him with a dance. I can guarantee a change of heart will come. God inhabits the praises of his people. I am especially in love with the song “Good Morning Mercy” by Jason Crabb. Check it out, you will immediately feel better.
As I am finishing up this article, it’s about 3 pm. I was feeling a little lethargic but not anymore! I have just put into practice all of the above, and wow, do I feel better!
EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Vicki Heath and was originally published by The Alabama Baptist. Vicki is national director of First Place for Health. Vicki is a certified fitness instructor, a certified life coach and wellness coordinator for her church in Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Her books include “Don’t Quit Get Fit” and “My First Place.”