Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Gratitude and treadmills

Science was never my strong subject in school. It took time for my mind to evolve to recognize and appreciate the not-so-boring nature of science. 

November being the month for gratitude, today I expanded my understanding of, and appreciation for, the science of gratitude. And a little something known as hedonic adaptation. And treadmills. 

If only instructors of my youth could have made learning so interesting and comprehensive. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Connect and share


October 30: Connect and Share

Whether you've had a bad day at work or a year filled with loss, a strong social support network can help you through the stress of tough times. Discuss your favorite stress management techniques with friends, family, and co-workers. Exchange ideas to get support and help someone you care about. 

Get outside



October 29: Get Outside

Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness. Fresh air and natural sunlight increase relaxation signals in our bodies by lowering blood pressure and decreasing the stress hormone, cortisol. Get outside to rejuvenate your mind and lower your stress. 


12 Fun Ways to Step Outdoors This Fall

  1. Try a new hiking trail
  2. Carve pumpkins in the yard (less messy too!)
  3. Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood
  4. Take the dog for a walk
  5. Enjoy your lunch alfresco
  6. Do some yardwork/rake leaves
  7. Visit a local orchard for fall harvest
  8. Take a walk on your break
  9. Have a campfire
  10. Collect leaves and pinecones for a fall centerpiece
  11. Do a fall scavenger hunt with your kiddos (look for acorns, fall colors, etc.)
  12. Try geocaching


Spend Time in Nature to Reduce Stress and Anxiety / Get Back to Nature

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Take five (or ten)


October 28: Take Five (or Ten)

Doing things you enjoy is a natural way to relieve stress and find your happy place. Even when you’re feeling down, you may find pleasure in simple things like going for a walk, catching up with a friend, or reading a good book. Take five to ten minutes to do something that makes you feel good.

Taking Care of Yourself Under Stress / Taking Time Out for Yourself

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Jot your thoughts



October 27: Jot Your Thoughts

One way to deal with negative thoughts and feelings through uncertain situations is to identify positive lessons and outcomes, no matter how small. Looking for silver linings can make challenging times more bearable. Try journaling to explore uncomfortable feelings and find bright spots amid uncertainty.


Woman writing in a journal

Use Journal Prompts to Reflect

Use the journal prompts below to reflect on this past year and the COVID-19 pandemic. If journaling is “not your thing” just take a few minutes to simply think about one or two of the prompts. Allowing yourself time to ruminate, even without writing it down, can be beneficial for your overall mental health.

  1. What is one new thing that has come out of this that I want to keep in my life even after this is all over?
  2. How has this forced me to develop new healthy habits?
  3. What silver linings, even if very small, have presented themselves because of this?
  4. What goals and dreams has this motivated me to prioritize?
  5. How has this taught me to be more careful with my resources, whether they are physical, emotional, energetic, or financial?


Finding Gratitude in Even Dark Times / Journaling for Mental Health / COVID-19 Journal Prompts

Save for the unexpected


October 26: Save for the Unexpected

Unexpected financial emergencies can happen at any time: a fender bender, a surprise medical bill, a broken appliance, a loss of income, or even a damaged cell phone. Large or small, these unplanned expenses often feel like they hit at the worst times and they are almost always stressful. Setting up a dedicated savings or emergency fund is one way to protect yourself. Minimize the stress that comes from unexpected emergencies by starting (or reinforcing) a savings habit. 


  • Set a goal. Having a specific goal for your savings can help you stay motivated. Use a savings planning tool to calculate how long it’ll take you to reach your goal, based on how much and how often you’re able to put money away.
  • Create a system for making consistent contributions. Setting up automatic recurring transfers is one of the easiest way to save. Aim to make it a specific amount, and if you can occasionally afford to do more, you’ll watch your savings grow even faster.
  • Regularly monitor your progress. Whether it’s an automatic notification of your account balance or writing down a running total of your contributions, find a way to regularly check your savings. Watching your progress can offer encouragement to keep going.
  • Celebrate your successes. If you stick with your savings habit, don’t miss the opportunity to recognize what you’ve accomplished. Find a few ways that you can treat yourself, and once you reach your goal, set your next one.


As Essential Guide to Building an Emergency Savings / Coping with Financial Stress


Friday, October 23, 2020

S.T.O.P. stress


October 23: S.T.O.P. Stress

Mindfulness can reduce stress in the moment and build resilience against future stressors by controlling racing, repetitive, and non-productive thoughts. You hold the power to regulate how you respond to pressure. Try to focus on the present moment to gain perspective when you are feeling stressed.

Practice Mindfulness in the Face of Stress

S.T.O.P. is a tool you can use to help you be more mindful during stressful moments. The next time you notice that a stressor has triggered you, follow these steps:

  • SLOW DOWN and stop what you are doing.
  • TAKE A BREATH to center yourself and come back to the present moment.
  • OBSERVE what is going on with your body, emotions, and thoughts. What are you feeling in your body? What are you thinking? What realistic outcomes exist?
  • PROCEED with something that will support you in the moment like taking a deep breath, calling a friend, or taking a walk.
Stressed Out? S.T.O.P / Mindfulness for Stress Reduction