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Building a Better You in the Middle of a Pandemic

As 2020 continues, it is fair to say the year has not been what we expected. From stay-at-home to sickness to Zoom birthday parties, the COVID-19 virus has certainly been a life-changer for the majority of people across the globe.

But, even in the midst of the chaos, we can still better ourselves and find the good in the situation. Many have used the time away from what were normal patterns and interactions to assess wants and needs, and create a “new norm,” which may be here to stay.

Here are a few suggestions you can use in current situations to “Build A Better You.”

Break Up the Mundane: FIND a Hobby

Engage in a hobby – an activity outside of normal, daily work and family time; an activity just for the sheer enjoyment of it. Hobbies inspire people to learn new skills, make new friends and live more fulfilled lives.
Hobbies can:

Promote happiness because hobbies incorporate pleasure and fun into your life.

Break up the mundane, interrupt routines and offer new ways for the brain to engage and the body to move.

Challenge the mind by providing different mental challenges than those faced on the job.

Improve work performance by increasing decision-making skills, creativity and confidence.

Decrease stress by providing an outlet to step away from daily responsibilities and concerns.

Prevent burnout and help minimize the impact of chronic stress and fatigue.

Go Outdoors: Mother Nature Makes You Happier and More Productive
Being in open spaces and the great outdoors is enjoyable. But, did you know spending time outside can make you happier and healthier?

Nature increases focus and concentration. A study published by the National Institutes of Health says people who go outdoors at least once a day are more focused and have better concentration skills than those who remain indoors for long periods of time. Have a difficult task or decision or trouble concentrating? Perhaps some outdoor time will lift the fog and bring clarity.

Nature decreases stress. Being in a natural environment provides a feeling of relaxation that reduces anxiety and stress. Additionally, the scent of many plants is proven to calm and relax the mind and body. The scent of fresh pine has even been shown to lower depression and anxiety.

Nature restores brain function. Interacting with nature gives your brain a break from everyday overstimulation, which translates into a restorative effect. The simple act of a casual stroll or tending a garden can yield amazing results, without much thought or energy required.

Nature helps you age gracefully. Getting outside daily helps people stay healthy and function longer. The Journal of Aging Health reports that people who regularly spend time outdoors have fewer health-related complaints than those who do not go outside each day.

Embrace the Quiet:
Find Moments of Silence

You know that moment when you see a sunset or deer grazing and it just captivates your attention? When you stop thinking, take a breath and feel appreciation for the surrounding beauty. This is a moment of silence. We need more moments like these in our hectic stressful lives – a chance to pause – not think, not do, just be. It’s so simple and yet feels hard to slow down sometimes.

Research shows the many benefits of learning to relax our mind and body, including lowering blood pressure, decreasing pain and inflammation, calming emotions, improving memory and increasing our ability to focus.

Finding a couple of moments once or twice a day will bring peace, energy and calm. Here are some simple ways to find and embrace the quiet:

At the end of the day, when you get into your car, just pause and take three deep breaths, welcome the silence and enjoy the quietness.

When showering, really feel the hot water on your skin, listen to the sound of the water and focus on three deep breaths.

Take small breaks during the day to go outdoors, look at the sky, smell the air, breathe deeply.

A Few More Thoughts:

Drink more water; at least half your body weight in ounces each day.

Spend less money on things and more on making memories.

Sleep more; have a bedtime and wake time.

Eat less; exercise more.

Send a thank you note or card to someone once a week.

Find a mentor or coach in the area you want to improve.

Apply the 30-30 rule: No electronics for 30 minutes upon waking and 30 minutes before bed.

Give more of your time, money, energy and heart.

Be nice.

Pre-book a monthly massage. FBN

By Mark Love

Mark Love is the franchisee of Massage Envy Spa Flagstaff, located at 1235 S. Plaza Way in the University Plaza Shopping Center next to Safeway. For more information on the benefits of massage and to schedule an appointment with a massage therapist, visit MassageEnvy.com or call 928-526-ENVY (3689) and follow on Facebook at Facebook.com/MEFlag. Schedule an appointment online – your time, your convenience, your massage.


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