Find Ways To Relax
4 ways to reduce your stress
(BPT) Stress. No one wants it but we all experi-
ence it from time to time. Higher levels of stress
can cause problems at work and at home.
But stress is not just hard on your mental well-be-
ing, it is hard on your body and can lead to many
negative health outcomes.
Stress levels can also increase significantly when
economic times are tough.
In England, the British Health and Social Care In-
formation Centre found that stress had increased
by 47 percent during that country¡¯s recession and
that stress was the single biggest cause of sick-
ness in the UK, affecting 20 percent of the popula-
In the United States, a survey by the Anxiety and
Depression Association of America found that
seven out of 10 people reported feeling some
To help you stay calm and focused, consider these
four ways to reduce stress:
Certain smells can bring back very specific and
detailed memories. These could be of a person,
event or place. Most often the memory also has a
deeply emotional feeling that is recalled.
This is because smells are processed by a specific
part of the brain that stores emotional memo-
ries. Taking the time to seek out the smells that
bring back those happy memories can help reduce
Stress is characterized in the human body by high
levels of the hormone cortisol, referred to as the
Scientific research has shown, in animals and in
humans, that increased levels of salt consumption
are very effective in reducing levels of cortisol.
Research from the University of Haifa, published
in the science journal Appetite, confirmed the
relationship between salt and stress in humans.
Researchers found an inverse correlation between
salt and depression/stress, especially in women.
Craving salty foods may very well be a biological
defense mechanism we evolved to cope with daily
Animal therapy has long been used to relieve
stress, improve mood and treat anxiety. Some
studies have also indicated that just being around
an animal can reduce blood pressure.
This pet therapy has been used in hospitals and
nursing homes and even with military veterans
suffering from depression. And it is not limited
to dogs and cats. Rabbits, Guinea pigs and even
horses are used.
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Consider task lights to promote your ocular health
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An added benefit is that having a pet en-
Regular exercise, even if mild, may be the
best stress reducer there is.
When you are active the body releases en-
dorphins, which produce a feeling of well-
being. Regular activity can improve your
concentration as well as your sleep, which
can often be negatively affected by stress.
Just going for a daily walk can help im-
prove how you feel. And the results of
exercise can also improve your self-image
Wintertime can be stressful for many
people. The cold and shorter days mean
less sunlight and fewer opportunities for
That is why it is important to take the time
to take good care of yourself and your
family by looking for ways to relax.
work on time. Designate safe places for everyone
to go or meet in the neighborhood during a weather
emergency. Make sure older children who may be
home alone know where to find emergency sup-
plies such as flashlights if the power goes out before
parents can get home, so they feel confident about
handling any unexpected situation.
Prep your car. Invest in the best tires, and ensure
that they¡¯re in tip-top condition to protect you and
your family during icy or snowy weather. Check your
tire pressure to make sure the PSI is at optimal levels
recommended by your vehicle¡¯s manufacturer, since
tire pressure can decrease around 1 PSI per every
10 degrees the temperature goes down. Make sure
you have a good spare tire. Keep your vehicle gassed
up when temperatures are colder, to prevent gas line
freezing, and make sure you¡¯re caught up on main-
tenance such as oil changes, safety inspections and
manufacturer recalls. Make room in your trunk for
emergency supplies like jumper cables, a first-aid kit,
blankets and a safety flare, in case you are stuck in
your car for any length of time.
Prep your home. Feel ready for any weather condi-
tions by assembling an accessible emergency box,
complete with flashlights and spare batteries, bottled
water and non-perishable food, plus a first-aid kit.
Then, be prepared for power outages due to weather
events by investing in a generator. Automatic standby
generators from Kohler are permanently installed out-
side a home, similar to a central air conditioning unit.
The generators connect to a home¡¯s electrical system
and run on natural gas or propane. When power is
lost, automatic standby generators turn on within 10
seconds, even when nobody is home, and units can
be remotely monitored from a smartphone or laptop.
Larger generators can power everything from lights
and HVAC to sump pumps and home security sys-
tems. Smaller units can power a few key circuits. For
more info on generators, visit www.kohlergenerators.
com. Having a generator can prevent a host of incon-
veniences, from food spoilage and lost communica-
tions to loss of heat and lighting.
Thinking ahead before the unexpected happens saves
time and money - while relieving your worries - during
any kind of storm. Being prepared is worth the invest-
ment, offering you and your family peace of mind. You
may not be able to control the weather, but you can
absolutely control how you prepare and respond to it,
no matter what the forecast.
3 ways to prepare for stormy weather
(BPT) No matter where you live, the
weather can be unpredictable any time of
year. Storms can disrupt your family¡¯s rou-
tine, but a little preparation can mean re-
ducing the stress that unexpected weather
events can cause. Preparing for storms or
other weather conditions just takes a few
practical, proactive steps that can save you
time, money and give you peace of mind.
Prep your family. Make sure everybody
in the family is equipped with everyone¡¯s
phone numbers (not just on phones), in
case batteries go dead or service is inac-
cessible. Create a practical plan for what to
do if school buses are delayed or canceled,
or if Mom and Dad can¡¯t get home from