Thursday, April 30, 2009

♫ Escaping Life

It seems, whether we are a single mom, a busy mom, a college student overwhelmed with life, a newlywed, a party animal, or a multi-tasker of any sorts, we tend to forget to find time for ourselves. I’ve gotten to an expert-level of not finding me-time. It’s all too easy to come up with excuses. You’re tired, you don’t have time, you don’t have the money, you have no way to escape, etc.

I have a goal, of finding more time for me, a way to release some stress, before falling asleep, every single night. Im hoping some of my ideas, will encourage you to do the same.

It’s been proven that high stress levels can have an effect on your sleep patterns, your skin (three cheers for adult acne! Ra! Ra! Ra!), your weight (usually gain), your eating habits, your work ethic and performance, and your hobbies. While it’s also been proven that exercise helps lower stress, raise your hand, if you like to exercise when life sucks. Yeah. That’s what I thought.

So, in an effort to help out all my loves that are over-killed on life, I found the following foods actually help lower stress. That’s right, eating the right things, helps.

Asparagus: this {ah hem..usually disgusting} greenage, is really high in folic acid. For those of you that are clueless what that means, it’s a mood stabilizer. The body releases hormones that affect moods when youre stressed, and this, is some great blockage for those traveling hormones. That’s right, blockage, only in a good way!

Beef: {I cant help but hear Sam Elliot’s oh so sexy voice saying "Beef it’s what’s for dinner" every time I hear that word} Beef is full of zinc, iron, and vitamin B. You’ve heard me rant about Vitamin B before, Im telling you, stock pile on this stuff. Beef is actually more nutritious than chicken, just don’t include the fat.

Milk: Milk is extremely high in antioxidants (all the rage for a healthy immune system, energy building, and cancer fighting goodness). It’s also loaded with Vitamin B, Calcium, and Protein, which happens to be a magic recipe for relaxation. So that old wives tale about a warm glass of milk before bed, is actually true.

Cottage Cheese AND Fruit: Cottage Cheese is a cousin to milk, so read above. Fruit (sounds like a horrible mixture with cottage cheese) is packed with Vitamin C (which, is blessed with antioxidants, see above).

Blueberries: MMMMM. These high-fiber, low calorie cuties are not only great for turning your entire mouth blue and begging you to take a picture of it, but full of stress combaters. According to the websites I checked, they were recommended twice to be mixed with cottage cheese. Who are these people?!

Tuna: Another force against stress, armed with Vitamin B and Protein, assists weight loss (protein rocks!), and the Vitamin B benefits go to battle for you at the same time!

Alright, so you’ve got your healthy diet. Do me a favor and don’t mix it all together, or at least, don’t talk about it. Im near gagging already at the thought of cottage cheese (already a too-textured-food for this kid) mixed with anything. ;)

Simple activities to get those happy endorphins pumping to help you get either your nights sleep off to a good start, or your day bursting with good instead of life’s overwhelm-ences. Because, I cant write a blog without making up at least one word.

#1. Bubble baths. Gross. Sorry. Cant help but saying that. Baths make me want to get up and shower. But, for the general public, the heat, smell and feeling of the right sea salts and bubble bath, the candle-lit bathroom, the good book, the journal, the Kenny G (or other awesome flavor of music) and your own little self...seem to literally melt away life’s weights.

#2. A long drive. This one works wonders for me. Me, alone in a car, driving down an abandoned road (not the city, it’ll make it worse people!), with the right music, and letting my brain run rampid and sort things out, is the perfect way for me to relieve every feeling that gets me down. There is just something about it. I totally relate to the way a dog feels when he’s hanging his head out a window going 80 down the road. If I could pull an Ace Ventura stunt and drive by myself and get that done, it would happen.

#3. A journal. Im working on this. I take one with me everywhere I go, but am not very good at doing it daily. Apparently, getting things out on paper, helps get things out of your head. Really, my blog is my journal, so, hey, thanks for snooping. Jerks. Oh wait, I guess I left it out, all unlocked and everything, so im to blame. Fine. Read away.

#4. Cleaning. Or maybe, cleaning just helps me. But something about cranking up some AC/DC so loud that my brain is forbidden to think, and scrubbing hard on something stubborn, does the trick.

#5. Exercise. Once I actually get to the gym, this totally works. Something about lifting weights, beating your anger out on the treadmill, or watching some guy bench twice my weight...or Well anyway. It’s been proven that this gets all the good things pumping, and releases bad energy. Get yourself to the gym, you wont regret it.

With the economy the way it is, a lot of us are feeling the crunch. I know money is tight, finals are driving you college kids crazy, the mercury in retrograde is making our men nuts, and most women feel like theyre doing the job of twenty and are underappreciated...try to take your stress out on something besides the people closest to you though. I’d really like some more ideas on how to get this done too, so if I missed something, do tell!

Yours Truly,

PS. If all else fails, try this:

**The best article I found on stress-relieving foods:


Jessica said...

I miss having my belly scratched. You'd think I could just do something about that. Roll over, wag, wait. Yeeeah, no. Gonna get some asparagus, put on High Voltage, try to stop wishing. Is v distracting.

Also good: fresh-matated-corn-tortilla chips. Maybe not so regret-less, but: ahhh.

Sista! said...

I have to admit, protein shakes on an almost daily basis are wonderful and do seem to have a happy effect. Especially when they taste good :) And a MUST for me: Shopping therapy. I have a compulsive shopping problem, but I am okay with it because I totally get new clothes/shoes/purses/jewelry. And it makes me feel better.
And another MUST: Vitamin D! I heart this stuff. In fact, I get oh so much happier when I get to experience my sunshine for a really long time. Instant mood UP!!

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