Rev Up for a Fantastic Summer

As summer approaches, your thoughts focus on what you’ll be doing as the weather warms. You think with pleasure of the upcoming possibilities: barbeques, picnics in the park, outings to the beach, frolicking with your family and pets in the back yard, an exciting vacation, and more.

But how are you going to muster up the energy to add all these fun activities into your already busy schedule? After languishing in the cozy house all winter, just thinking of this flurry of activity tires you out!

Try these tips to pump up your energy for summer fun:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself. Look in the mirror and make a vow that you’ll take part in more activities this summer. You’ll worry less about keeping the house and yard in meticulous form and doing the laundry and washing the car on the same days every week. Commit to enjoying a summer full of interesting recreation.
  2. Consider your options. Your kids want to take that 4 hour trip to the new theme park at least once. Your partner wants both of you to join the local boat club and go boating twice monthly. You’ve got one friend who wants you to take golf lessons with him and another who hopes you’ll attend a monthly art discussion group throughout summer.
    • Ponder the type of recreation you’d like to be involved in. Take time to consider which proposed activities you’d enjoy the most. Which activities really call to you?
  3. Get your energy flowing by exercising now if you didn’t start early in spring. To increase your energy levels, try a brisk walk outdoors every day. With your doctor’s blessing, increase your walk by 5 or 10 minutes each week until you reach 45-60 minutes. As you walk and increase your speed you’ll notice you’ve got more energy and stamina to face the day.
    • You’ll be full of vigor by the time summer rolls around.
  4. Use positive self-talk to mentally prepare for activities. Making statements to yourself like, “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my kids this summer” and “I will make an effort to stay in good physical shape so I’ll have more energy” will ensure you maintain a positive mindset and continue putting in effort to have the best summer ever.
  5. Converse with your partner. Hear their ideas on what they want to do this summer. Share your wish to be more actively involved with your loved ones and friends. Make some plans together to enrich your relationship while you enjoy the weather and have fun.
  6. Have gratitude. Recognize you have your family, friends, and health How lucky are you to have the choice to spend more time engaging in activities you love with your family? Very lucky. Look forward to the summer with gratitude in your heart.
  7. Reflect on your efforts. Because you’re changing how you’ll approach life this summer, give yourself some props. Stoking your energy to have an active season while continuing as a busy parent and worker is quite a feat. Yet, you believe enjoying some time with the people you love when the weather is beautiful is worth your effort.

Summer is about to arrive. Isn’t it time to re-invigorate and enjoy a fantastic summer? Vow to embrace your fun-loving side. Think about how you’d like to experience some new and different recreation this season. Exercise often to increase stamina. Practice the cognitive strategy of positive self-talk to pump up energy and prepare for lots of summer activities.

Talk to your partner about both of your wishes as the weather heats up. Recognize what you have and be thankful for it. Start now to get revved up for the summer; you’ll enjoy your best season yet this year!

Overcoming Post-Holiday Blues

The holidays are often a whirlwind of activity and emotion involving a busy schedule of shopping, school programs and get-togethers with friends and family. If you experience an emotional disappointment when the holidays pass, there are many things you can do to lift your mood and make it through the emotional let-down after the holidays.

These strategies will boost your spirits and get your New Year off to a great start:

  1. Take advantage of the extra time you now have for yourself. Since the holiday hullabaloo is over, you have some time to reflect. What do you like about your life? What would you like to change?
  2. Think about small goals you’d like to accomplish. Do you want to finally get that hall closet cleaned out? Maybe you can now complete that special project your boss has wanted you to do.
    • It’s a good time to make a list of all those little tasks you want to get done. Having the list will help you concentrate on your goals. Plus, it’s wonderful to draw a line through an achieved goal.
  3. Focus on you for a change. Now is the time to hone in on personal desires and goals. Perhaps you want to exercise more or spend more quality time with your children. Ponder how you might go about making the changes you seek. Think of taking little steps toward your big goals.
  4. Pursue an interest. We’ve all got those interests we hope to “get to” someday. Since you’ve got some down time now, why not go for it? Delve in to that subject you’ve been curious about or start the photography class you’ve longed to take.
    • If you’re not sure what you’re interested in, do some research. Visit your local library, browse some magazines or look in the newspaper. You’ll most likely find a couple of topics or activities you’d like to learn more about.
  5. Have a dinner party. You’ll have plenty of time to plan and prepare for this event with people you really care about. You’ll enjoy yourself and your mood will lift.
  6. Renew and refresh your surroundings. Do you feel like re-arranging the furniture in a room or two? Maybe you want to paint the walls or make new curtains. Re-decorating your surroundings is a wonderful way to go in to a new year and banish the holiday blues at the same time.
    • Re-focusing on your surroundings and thinking about any changes you want to make will help you de-focus from the doldrums.
  7. Re-connect with an old friend. There’s something so wonderful about making that call you’ve wanted to make. Hearing your friend’s voice again will bring great joy to your heart. It might be a friend from the old neighborhood, a former college roommate or a past co-worker you were once great friends with.

If you’re feeling down now that the holidays are behind you, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll begin to rise above those post-holiday blues when you try some of these strategies.

Taking some quality time for yourself during this period can lighten your mood immensely and ignite your excitement about the year ahead.

Boost Your Energy Level By Eating More Yogurt

Eating yogurt is an excellent way to boost your energy level to keep up with your busy schedule. Yogurt really is a high-energy food, plus there are many delicious ways to include more servings of yogurt in your diet.

How to Use Yogurt to Boost Your Energy Level:

1.      Improve your tyrosine levels. One key reason why yogurt gives you energy is because it contains the amino acid tyrosine, which converts into the chemicals dopamine and adrenaline to give your body a pleasantly stimulated feeling. Tyrosine will wake you up much like coffee without the jittery sensations and insomnia that caffeine can cause.

2.      Get complete protein. Yogurt is an excellent source of high quality protein. Just one 8 ounce serving of plain yogurt will give you about 20 percent of your Daily Value for protein. This enables your body to make its own proteins to maintain your muscles and organs.

3.      Enjoy a rich source of calcium. Calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health. An 8 ounce serving of yogurt provides about 30% of your Daily Value for calcium. For women who limit their consumption of other dairy products, yogurt is an excellent way to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, that way fragile bones won’t interfere with an energetic and active lifestyle.

4.      Benefit from friendly bacteria. You’ve probably heard of probiotics – friendly bacteria that can help you stay healthy and protect you from many diseases. The FDA requires that yogurt contain specific bacteria. For even better protection, look for the “Live & Active Culture Seal” indicating that the yogurt contains at least 100 million bacteria per gram at the time of production.

5.      Keep your colon healthy. Instead of buying expensive colon cleansers whose benefits haven’t been fully proven, you can keep your intestines healthy by eating yogurt. The lactobacteria, especially acidophilus, encourage the growth of friendly bacteria and help lower the risk of colon cancer.

6.      Manage lactose intolerance. More than one quarter of American adults have trouble digesting most dairy products. It’s hard to feel energetic if you’re suffering from symptoms like cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. The live and active cultures in yogurt make it easier to digest than milk so you can get the nutrients you need without intestinal upset.

7.      Get relief from yeast infections. For many women, the best thing about yogurt is its ability to fight yeast infections. Because it contains acidophilus, yogurt has been shown to decrease yeast growth in some women. If you suffer from yeast infections, yogurt can help you get your energy back.

Delicious Ways to Eat Yogurt:

1.      Eat yogurt for breakfast. Substitute yogurt for milk with your breakfast cereal or mix in some nuts and dried fruit. Use yogurt as a topping on whole wheat pancakes or waffles. Cool down a breakfast burrito with a few tablespoons of yogurt instead of sour cream.

2.      Have yogurt for lunch. Eat a container of yogurt or try a drinkable yogurt. You can buy packaged smoothies or make your own with fresh fruit and plain yogurt. Use yogurt instead of mayonnaise in your tuna salad. Dip cut vegetables or toasted pita chips in a dip made from yogurt and your favorite seasonings.

3.      Make yogurt your dessert. Frozen yogurt has less live and active cultures than the regular version, but it can still be a relatively healthy treat. Check the label for fat content and added sugar. Serve low fat vanilla yogurt instead of whipped cream with cake or pie.

Eating yogurt regularly can help keep you energized and healthy. It’s an easy way to get essential nutrients and help protect yourself from diseases that could interfere with an active lifestyle.