DE-STRESS | Week 2 | Kick Your Caffeine Habit

DE-STRESS | Week 2 | Kick Your Caffeine Habit

At present, 94% of American workers cite high-stress as being a normal part of life. Sadly, one of the first things people do when stressed at work is reach for their nearest source of caffeine.

 

Coffee especially gives people a physical pick-me-up. This is because coffee is a stimulant. Sadly, this means that caffeine increases our heart rate and blood pressure. In both the short and long-term, this exasperates stress.

 

Are you a caffeine addict? If so, consider replacing coffee with green tea, camomile tea, or fresh juice. You won’t get the same physical kick. However, you will start noticing significantly reduced stress in the long-term.

DE-STRESS | Week 1 | Easy Ways to Relax with Breathing Exercises

 

DE-STRESS Week 1: Easy Ways to Relax with Breathing Exercises

Make no mistake, chronic stress is physiologically damaging. The good news, though, is that there are physiological ways to counter feeling overwhelmed.

 

By far the easiest way to relax is to breathe. For optimal results, press the tip of your tongue behind your front teeth. Then, follow the simple steps below:

 

  • First, exhale fully through your mouth.
  • Next, breathe in long and continuously for 4-seconds through your nose.
  • After breathing in, hold your breath for 7-seconds.
  • Lastly, completely exhale through your mouth while counting to eight.

 

If you are experiencing high-stress, you are likely chest breathing. This fails to provide enough oxygen to your bloodstream. Breathing exercises like the above remedy this by helping reset your respiratory system.

 

**New Series Alert** DE-STRESS

New Series: DE-STRESS

Feeling stressed? At this time of year, it’s natural. You are financially recouping after the festive season. Added to that, there is the shock of going back to work. However, stress can sometimes get out of control.

In any one year, 74% of people feel so stressed at some point, that they feel overwhelmed. Here, we’ll, therefore, look at a few easy ways to relax, even during high-stress situations.

Each week, we’ll bring you a new DE-STRESSing tip, so be sure to check in every Friday (the first one’s already up)!

3 Social Survival Tips For The Holidays

3 Social Survival Tips For The Holidays

 

You just finished another Christmas movie on Netflix and have lost count on how many you’ve watched today alone. However, you don’t know if you can stomach another one because they all end the same. The small-town girl finds true love in the end. It’s normally with some big city guy who was only there to visit and ends up finding the true meaning of love. It can be nauseating. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to dread the holidays. You don’t need to look at Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, or even Valentine’s Day as something to be bitter about. Here are three survival tips for lonely women on the holidays.

 

  1. Seek Connections

 

You’re not alone. There are others like you. Technology progressed far enough already where we have apps and websites that help us connect with others who might also be feeling lonely during the holidays. Even just a friendly exchange between two strangers can be enough to ward off feelings of loneliness.

 

  1. Restructure your Expectations

 

Turn off those Christmas movies as they’re only setting your expectations of how holidays like Christmas “should be.” Not everyone is going to have that perfect Cinderella story, and that’s okay. You should move your thinking away from believing that’s the only perfect way of living.

 

  1. Take Care Of Yourself First

 

It might sound cliché but taking care of yourself first might help you get out of that funk. Going to a spa or joining a new gym where you can work up your confidence and self-esteem can help you get into the mindset that anyone would be lucky to have you in their lives. The more you feel better about yourself, the more you can push through loneliness into happiness.

 

Don’t let the crippling feeling of loneliness get you down during a long holiday season. There are ways you can help yourself so that you can achieve happiness, even if you’re by yourself.

3 Healthful Food Ideas For Thanksgiving

3 Healthful Food Ideas For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a yearly “cheat day” for everyone around the world. It’s an excuse to put any diets to the side and splurge. Unfortunately, that causes a snowball effect for many people. They will end up telling themselves that they will go back on a diet after Thanksgiving only for them to continue making bad dietary choices well past Christmas. Fortunately, you can start making smart dietary choices going into Thanksgiving, so you don’t have to join the crowd of people buying up gym memberships when January 1st rolls around. Let’s take a look at 3 food ideas if you don’t want to gain weight during Thanksgiving.

 

  1. Deviled Eggs

 

Deviled eggs are a protein-packed filler and will keep you from filling up on other foods during the holidays. The best part about deviled eggs is, while they may be filling, depending on the recipe you use you’ll only be consuming about 50 calories per half egg. Just make sure that you’re not using a fat-packed jar of mayonnaise. Opt-in for a lighter option.

 

  1. Reduced Sodium-Whole Wheat Stuffing

 

Women are at the same risk of heart disease as men and that means you should go for lower-sodium options when it comes to stuffing. Eating whole wheat alone reduces your risk of diabetes which also leads to heart disease, so combining the two is a no brainer. Don’t think you’re giving up much flavor for a healthier option because a lower-sodium option is just as good. That means use unsalted butter and low-sodium chicken brother.

 

  1. Herb-Roasted Turkey

 

We’re not going to tell you that you can’t have a turkey for Thanksgiving. That’s like telling someone they can’t have a tree for Christmas. However, if you’re going to go with a turkey, you should roast it in different herbs instead of a crazy amount of salt or fattening juices. You’ll want to use a combination of oregano, sage, thyme, sprigs, and rosemary. It comes out much better in the end and you won’t need to worry about basting.

 

These are great recipes if you’re looking to have a more health-conscious Thanksgiving, especially if you’re hosting with aging family members.

 

 

 

3 Ways To Survive The Holidays As A Parent

3 Ways To Survive The Holidays As A Parent

 

Your children are your entire world, but as a parent, you have so much on your plate already while trying to figure out how to fill the plates of others. It can be rough to try to survive without dual incomes coming in, even if you’re working multiple jobs just to put food on the table. Unfortunately, younger children often don’t see this sacrifice and wonder why they’re not getting the newest toys or gadgets for the holidays. Fortunately, we have a couple of tips for single mothers that can help them survive the holidays.

 

  1. Focus On Memories More Than Materials

 

You don’t have to try to make your children happy with material items this year. You should try playing the long game and helping them make lasting memories on a more affordable budget that they’ll enjoy and appreciate when they’re older.

 

  1. Make A Couple Of Sacrifices

 

If the things that your children want are a little out of your budget, then sit down and see what you don’t need. Maybe scale down the tree this year or take your kids out to look at Christmas lights instead of putting up your own. You’ll be surprised how much you can save.

 

  1. Talk To Your Children

 

Despite the types of tantrums that you see on television when kids don’t get their toys, you’d be surprised how understanding children actually are. Sitting them down and explaining the situation and setting expectations will keep them from being disappointed and maybe even appreciate what you do a little more.

 

Despite any obstacles, there’s always a way around them. There’s always a way to create a magical experience for your children without getting too stressed out. Sitting down, taking a breather, and talking it out is one of the best ways for any single mother to survive the holidays.

3 Things That Will Help You Sleep Better

3 Things That Will Help You Sleep Better

Life is busy, and it goes fast. Sleep is the one time we have a break from it all. Studies show that sleeping more sharpens your brain, improves your mood, promotes heart health, and so much more. It’s important, so we have to make each hour we get count! I’m going to give you 3 things that will guarantee you a better, more restorative rest each night.

 

 

  • Don’t Drink Caffeinated Beverages Late in the Day

 

Caffeine energizes our bodies, stimulating our nervous systems and making us buzz with energy. While this is great when we’re getting our start to the day, it makes it much harder for us to fall asleep and then rest well once we are asleep. Limit your caffeine intake 6 to 8 hours before you go to bed.

 

 

  • Try to Go to Bed and Wake Up at the Same Time

 

Our bodies have circadian rhythms that function on a loop. If we stay consistent, we are much more likely to stay asleep longer and, therefore, wake up more refreshed.

 

 

  • Sleep on a Comfortable Mattress

 

Bed quality is such an important factor in our sleep that we often overlook. The right

mattress effects good quality sleep to make sure you wake up rejuvenated and ready to seize the day! You should change your mattress every 5 to 8 years. Some might think this is the hardest fix (mattresses are so expensive, after all), but there are so many cost efficient ways to buy mattresses online. 

 

Change your habits to secure your sleep. Sweet Dreams, Reader!

How to Serve Others like Jesus

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV)

Every Christian is called to serve others.

But let’s be honest, it takes grace and a lot of patience for us to serve other people diligently.

In a world where people want others to help them get to the top, it is hard to commit yourself to help others without expecting anything in return. But biblically, we are supposed to do everything as unto the Lord, and that includes serving others. (Colossians 3:23)

The Bible does not ask us to help others when we feel like; it tells us to do it the way Jesus served us. Serve other people in your household, church, community, nation, and the world at large.

Here is how you can serve others like Jesus:

Add Value in other People’s Lives

Instead of serving others for personal gains, focus on adding value in their lives. Find out their needs and then help them out.

Jesus came on earth to serve us not to be served. Though he was fully God, he left heaven and came on earth to save humanity because he cared and loved us the same way his father did.

God has given you gifts so that you can use them to serve people that genuinely need your help.

Be Caring Towards Others

Jesus genuinely cared about people. While Christ had a lot on his plate, he did not focus on checking tasks off his to-do list. Jesus cared so much that he stopped and attended to the woman with the issue of blood even though he was headed to Jairus’ house. (Luke 8:40-48)

Have a genuine interest in people around you.

Listen to them when they talk and make inquiries about how they are faring on from time to time. Instead of putting other people down build their confidence with the word of God. Let care be part of your everyday life.

Follow God’s Leading

Ever wondered why Jesus was able to do so much in a short period?

Jesus did only what his father told him to do. (John 12:49)

But how did he know what his father wanted? He used to pray. Our Lord used to rise early or separate himself from people so that he could spend time with his father.

During prayer time, listen to your heavenly father so that he can lead you in the way you should go. He will show you who to help and how to help them best. As you carry out your tasks in the day, don’t let your busy schedule to overshadow your relationship with God. That way, you will be able to hear him when he prompts you to help.

We need to be imitators of Jesus Christ, and one of the ways that we can imitate him is by serving others. But let us always serve others to glorify God, not man. We will not do it correctly, but by God’s grace, we will be able to make a difference in the world.

Honor God by Living a Healthy, Christian Lifestyle

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31(NIV)

When people look at us, they should see Christ living in us.

Yes, we will fall many times, but that should not stop us from honoring God with our lives.

Our major goal as Christians should be to lead lifestyles that honor our heavenly Father. The way we live should match our faith.  Why? It makes other people who are not Christians to want to be like us, to be Christ-like.

Most of us like to quote scripture and speak about Jesus. It is not bad; it is the right thing to do. But the truth is people, especially worldly people judge us based on our lifestyle. When our lives don’t match our faith, they end up thinking that Christianity is for people who don’t practice what they preach.

So, how do we honor God through our lifestyles?

Take Good Care of yourself

Your body is a temple of God; you need to take good care of it.

Eat healthy food, drink enough water, and exercise so that you can be fit enough to carry out the assignments God has for you.

We see people changing their bad eating habits because of their loved ones. That’s great, but what if we went a step further and took care of our bodies as a way of honoring God?

Sounds great right?

We should not stop at eating right and exercising regularly. We need to also protect our minds by filtering what we watch and read. We should fill our minds with the word of God.  Some things may not see harmful now but will harm you later. Remember, the eyes are the lamp of the body.

Surround yourself with the right people

Are your close friends’ followers of Jesus Christ? What do they love doing in their free time?

The people you hang out with will influence you positively or negatively, so you have to be careful about your circle of friends (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Walking out of some relationships may be hard, but it is better to drop some friends than to allow them to lead us stray and cause us to stumble in our spiritual walk. Glorify God by being around people who love and worship him.

It is easy to get caught up with so many things that we may forget to honor God with our lifestyle. But there is more to Christianity than just reading the bible, praying and going to church. Our lifestyles need to be a reflection of our faith in the Lord.

Ask God to help you live a life that honors him. When you fall, don’t remain down, get up, and keep the good fight of faith. You’re not the only one that is going through challenges; every Christian is struggling with something. But remember, at the end of it all, we shall receive the crown of life.

It is not easy, but God is on our side; we shall make it.

Treat yourself and others right. Rest, eat right, read, and watch things that build you up spiritually, and surround yourself with the right people. Lay your life down for Christ, and God will lift you up.

4 Cheap, Fun Summer Activities You Can Do

If you’re like me, the first thing I think of when the summer comes is road trips, hotel stays, and a tight bank account. However, summer doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, summer activities shouldn’t put a strain on your finances at all. With a little creativity, one can have a fantastic summer without spending too much money.

Let’s look at four awesome summer activities for all ages:

Budget-Friendly Summer Activities

  1. Drive-In Movies. The regular price for a drive-in movie is around seven dollars for adults, which already beats regular movie theater prices by half. Drive-in movies are great budget-friendly options because not only are the tickets cheaper, but you can bring your own snacks. Sometimes drive-in movie theaters even have free movie nights in the summer, and nothing is cheaper than free!
  2. Camping in your Backyard. Have you ever wanted to camp but also have your own certified-clean bathroom and easy access to all your favorite foods and drinks? Camping in the backyard is the way to go. It’s a perfect option for homebodies, people with young children, or people with pets. If you don’t have an outdoor tent, you can always get creative in the living room with pillows and blankets, instead.
  3. Picking fruit at an Orchard. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit in the summer? Picking fruit isn’t a completely free activity, but for a low admission cost and the cost of the fruit, you’ve got a rewarding summer afternoon activity. The best part is that you go home with pounds of fruit for eating, dessert-making, or canning.
  4. Free Museum Days. If you’re looking to get out of the hot, summer sun for a while, local museums could be the answer to your problems. Not only are they temperature controlled, but they’re educational and affordable. Most museums offer free admission days either weekly or once a month for people who are keeping budget in mind.

Having Budget-Friendly Fun

Whether you’re paying off debt, saving for a bigger trip, or simply have a lot of expenses, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your budget in mind when it comes to summer activities. What’s your favorite cheap summer activity?