10 Tips To Boost Your Mental Health
Track gratitude and achievement with a journal. Include 3 things you were grateful for and 3 things you were able to accomplish each day.
Set up a getaway. It could be camping with friends or a trip to the tropics. The act of planning a vacation and having something to look forward to can boost your overall happiness for up to 8 weeks!
Work your strengths. Do something you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task.
Think of something in your life you want to improve, and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.
Show some love to someone in your life. Close, quality relationships are key for a happy, healthy life.
Boost brainpower by treating yourself to a couple pieces of dark chocolate every few days. The flavonoids, caffeine, and theobromine in chocolate are thought to work together to improve alertness and mental skills.
Take time to laugh. Hang out with a funny friend, watch a comedy or check out cute videos online. Laughter helps reduce anxiety.
Go off the grid. Leave your smart phone at home for a day and disconnect from constant emails, alerts, and other interruptions. Spend time doing something fun with someone face-to-face.
Spend some time with a furry friend. Time with animals lowers the stress hormone – cortisol, and boosts oxytocin – which stimulates feelings of happiness. If you don’t have a pet, hang out with a friend who does or volunteer at a shelter.
Try prepping your lunches or picking out your clothes for the work week. You’ll save some time in the mornings and have a sense of control about the week ahead.
Managing Sore Muscles & Joint Pain
You work hard all week, so when the weekend finally rolls around you want to play just as hard. There’s nothing like a few rounds of golf, a hike in the mountains, or an intense workout at the gym to reinvigorate you.
But all of that activity can result in soreness and stiffness that shows up a day or two later. Don’t be sidelined by muscle pain. Find out the causes and proper treatments so you can stay on your game.
What’s Causing My Sore Muscles?
It’s normal to have sore muscles after you work out, play sports, or even do housework, especially if:
• You did an activity you’re not used to (like running a marathon when you normally jog just a few miles).
• You suddenly kicked up your exercise intensity level or increased the length of your workout.
• You did eccentric exercises, in which you lengthened instead of shortened your muscle (like walking downhill or extending your arm during a bicep curl).
These changes to your exercise routine can lead to tiny injuries called microdamage in the muscle fibers and connective tissue. About a day later, you’ll start to feel sore.The good news is that when you do the same activity again, your muscles will start to get used to it.
What’s Causing My Joint Pain?
When your joints feel sore and achy, that’s usually a sign of osteoarthritis. This inflammatory condition becomes more common as you get older. The cartilage that normally cushions the joints wears away, leaving the joints inflamed and painful.
Joint pain can also be caused by overuse or injury — for example, tennis elbow or a knee injury caused by a ligament or meniscal problem.
Treating Sore Muscles and Joint Pain
One big question a lot of people have when they’re nursing sore muscles is whether to use heat or ice. Experts say indirect ice — an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel — is best for immediate relief. Icing the sore area right after the activity to reduce inflammation then using heat later to increase blood flow to the area. Heat also can help relieve joint pain.
Sometimes soothing sore muscles requires more than an ice pack or over-the-counter pain reliever. Muscle pain that comes on quickly and feels intense is a sign that you’ve injured yourself. Call your doctor if your pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days.
How Do I Prevent Sore Muscles and Joint Pain?
Experts used to recommend stretching before a workout to prevent sore muscles. Yet research has shown that stretching ahead of time doesn’t do much to prevent soreness or injury. It is better to get in a good warm-up before you exercise and save the stretching for afterward, when your muscles are already warm.
A couple of natural substances have been touted for preventing sore muscles, including antioxidants like vitamin C. But check with your doctor before taking high doses of any vitamin. Serious exercisers might find relief from post-workout soreness by beefing up on protein. A study of marines found that taking protein supplements reduced sore muscles after intense exercise.
It also can help to work with a physical therapist, who can show you how to exercise safely and how to maintain good posture so that you don’t get injured or worsen joint pain.
Healthy Living Tip
Eat what you need. It is better to eat less and in line with your energy needs, rather than eat excessively and work off excess calorie intake through exercise. When you eat excessively, you strain your digestive system by making it digest more food than you need, and when you exercise excessively, you strain your body.
|•||1 tsp lemon juice|
|•||1 cup lettuce, iceberg|
|•||1 tsp mustard, Dijon|
|•||½ tsp Tabasco sauce|
|•||1 tsp Worcestershire sauce|
|•||2 ½ oz shrimp|
|•||½ cup pasta, uncooked|
|•||½ cup pineapple, chunks in juice|
|•||¼ cup scallions|
|•||2 Tbls yogurt, low fat-plain|
|•||1 ½ Tbls walnuts, chopped|
|•||1 Tbl avocado|
Cook pasta and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water. Drain again and set aside.
Slice avocado crosswise and brush with lemon juice to prevent darkening. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, lettuce, avocado slices, pineapple chunks, and cooked shrimp.
For dressing, stir together mustard, yogurt, diced scallions, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Spoon dressing over the seafood mixture and toss gently to coat.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkle with broken walnuts and enjoy!
Per serving: 348 calories, 24g protein, 12g total fat, 36g carbohydrates.
Source: Healthy Transformations Recipes