Ugh -- December. Is there any month of the year that drives us quite so batty? Shopping. Entertaining. Traveling. Wrapping up that final workload. And all those holiday parties you promised you'd go to! It's enough to make you want to start dipping into the eggnog a few weeks early.
A surefire antidote to relieving all this stress is by practicing the three R's -- rest, relaxation and reflection -- which not only helps soothe your frayed brain, but also improves your overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, learning to chill slows your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, reduces muscle tension (and chronic pain), improves your concentration and even boosts your confidence. Not a bad payoff, right?
Our own experts have often given us great relaxation advice. Deepak Chopra recommends mediating for 10 to 20 minutes a day in order to bring your mind and body into harmony. Dr. Nancy Snyderman suggests running away for a fast recharge. "Tell your family you love them, but that you need a brief getaway," she says. "They'll be fine. It is not selfish, it's self-preservation." And my old pal Dr. Oz says that, if you can't get away, take 5 minutes to go into the bathroom and practice deep belly breathing. This quick exercise is central to many mystic religions, he adds, and is profoundly important to spiritual balance.
I loved these tips -- and wanted more! So being a lifelong "list person" I combed the web in search of the perfect clip-and-save cheat sheet that I can tape to the fridge. And as luck would have it, the smart and reliable folks at WebMD.com have just the compendium I was looking for.
So take a moment, take a look and -- whatever you do -- take it easy! The holidays are supposed to be fun, remember?
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