How to Recover from Fatigue: Happiness and the ties that bind

Wondering how to recover from fatigue? According to a recent Gallup Poll, family ties and friendship could be just what the doctor ordered. In fact, “The Gallup Healthways “Happiness-Stress Index” Poll indicated that weekends, holidays and social time account for the highest spikes in happiness and most significant decreases in stress and anxiety. Another study conducted by James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis found that happiness was contagious and asserted that “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected … seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.”

How to recover from fatigue: Dr. Happiness weighs in on what makes us happy.

According to Edward Diener, a.k.a. Dr. Happiness, “…the most salient characteristics shared by the 10% of students with the highest levels of happiness and the lowest signs of depression were their strong ties to friends and family and commitment to spending time with them.”

On that note I’d like to encourage you to start making dates with happiness i.e. setting aside time daily and weekly to enjoy social time with your ties that bind, heal and energize your  mind, body and spirit.

Daily Family & Friend Breaks: Stressed at just the thought of planning a get together?  Relax. A break could be as simple as a few minutes here to a couple hours there …

* Spending a couple of minutes around the office chatting

* Sharing a coffee break in your cubical while giggling over Demotivation.com posters.

* Renewing participation in your WAHM/SAHM, collegiate, church, etc.

* Inviting a friend to join in a weekly class you already enjoy – dance class, craft class, knitting, quilting, cooking …

* Sharing a relaxing glass of red wine after an evening yoga class.

* Writing a note to a friend and mailing it off with a fun “Celebrate” or “Adopt a Shelter Dog/Cat” Stamp will give you more energy for hours and feel happier. According to Gale Berkowitz of the renowned Nurses Health Study “The more friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical impairments as they age, and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life.”

Don’t underestimate the happiness health benefits of “virtual” dates with your out-of-town significant others. Although I live in Virginia I regularly eat lunch with my mother who lives in San Diego. Noon is the perfect time for me to break and catch her at the breakfast table. Often I can catch a few moments with my dad too.

Weekly Gathering and the return of the Sunday meal tradition. Just the thought of this conjures up images of that famous Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving Painting. The one with the beautifully set table, happy faces and a huge turkey on a platter just making its appearance… This is a far cry from the hasty meal gobbled down in front of the “News” that too many of us rush through every night.

For your health and well-being I highly recommend a return to the past. Remember that old-fashioned tradition where Sunday was a day of rest, recuperation and reconnection with spirit above and within? Well it can be again with a delicious and merry brunch or dinner with loved ones. (Last night my gathering was around the Super Bowl but any or no-occasion will do!)

Dress it up with your best linens, silver, candelabras and china. Spend all day cooking up your favorite “food for energy” and flavor dishes. Be sure to include a decadent desert. You can make the meal preparation a fun family or group project or, take it easy by making it pot-luck affair complete with plastic knives and forks and paper plates. It truly is the “thought that counts” and enjoying the guests at your table that matters.

Psst. If you do decide to cook, the Sunday meal is an excellent opportunity to “double up” your recipes. This habit reduces meal planning, preparation and clean-up during the rest of the week. You’re gonna love the way that makes you feel!

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The single most important thing you can do to increase your level of health, wealth and success in your life is to increase your level of happiness. – Marci Shimoff, author, Happy For No Reason. For more thoughts on the topic of fatigue recovery via friendship, click here.

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Causes of Fatigue: STRESS

Definition of Stress: c: a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation. Source: Merriam-Webster.com

Quick Stress Test:

Are you QUICK to react with anger, frustration, tears or despair? Y/N

Do you go to sleep and wake up worrying about something(s) — your finances, health, politics, someone else’s problems … Y/N

Do you have difficulty getting to sleep because of anxious thoughts? Y/N

Do you feel constantly tired and burdened by problems beyond your control? Y/N

In addition to fatigue, other common symptoms of stress may include: Upset stomach * Depression * Increase urge to urinate * Desire to isolate * Confused thinking and inability to complete projects * Escapism via alcohol, TV * Headaches (tension and migraine) viewing, sex, etc., * Cravings for sugar and cards plus excessive weight gain * Back pain * Constipation * Insomnia * Infertility * Asthma Attacks * More frequent cold and flues * Sexual dysfunction * Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies * Brittle nails

Take Notice and Note: Easy daily opportunities to help you reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety and feel better – FAST.

1. The “Dump it Here – Click here for the  Stress and Anxiety Relief Journal Exercise.”

2. Two-Minute “Follow Your Breath” Meditation Exercise. You need a timer and a specific time of day or an activity trigger. For example, I do this exercise based on an activity trigger — writing. My husband puts in his two-minutes after lunch. All you do is set 1) the timer for two minutes and then 2) focus on your breathing. Follow your breath in and out with no need to change or affect it – just follow it. When you’re comfortable with this exercise, expand it to five-minutes … Super easy and effective way to add more energy, oxygen, relaxation and peace into your day!

BONUS Stress and Anxiety Reduction Habit. Schedule time for happiness i.e. enjoy daily and weekly social time with friends and family.

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Stressed by your super woman no-time-for-friends-or-fun lifestyle? You’re not alone. A recent Gallup Poll shows that individuals with the least amount of social time perform the poorest on the Happiness-Stress Index while experiencing the highest levels of intense stress and worry. Learn how to wrap your super woman cape around your stress, anxiety and fatigue and cast them out of your life forever in the Fatigue Be Gone Jumpstart e-Guide. Available at www.FatigueBeGone.com

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Food For Energy: Roasted Chicken Recipes

Food for Energy: Roasted chicken recipe inspired by Ina Garten’s “Lemon Chicken with Croutons” Recipe, Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

This delicious food for energy is SO easy to make and everyone will think you are a fabulous cook! It starts with an all-natural, preservative free, base. In this case, an organic, free-range, antibiotic-free chicken. (Read the label carefully.) I also make the bread cubes from brown spelt bread and season it with a 50/50 blend of sea salt and kelp. The latter is super fuel for tired adrenal glands per Dr. Wilson, author, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome

Food for Energy: Roasted Chicken with Spelt Bread Croutons                                        Serves 3 to 4                      Prep Time – 15 Min

1 (4 to 5 pound) Organic, Free-Range and Antibiotic-Free roasting chicken

1 large yellow onion, sliced

Good olive oil

Kosher salt and kelp

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lemons (or oranges), quartered

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 cups (3/4-inch) Spelt bread cubes (1 loaf of brown Spelt bread)

How to roast a chicken:

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees

Place onion slices in the roasting pan and drizzle with the olive oil.

Remove giblets and wash the chicken inside and out. Pat dry and season inside and out with the Sea Salt/Kelp Mix then stuff with the lemons or oranges and place on top of the onion slices. Tie up the legs with kitchen string.

Roast for 1/ ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until the juices run clear, not red. When cooked cover with aluminum and allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes while you sauté Continue reading

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Fatigue Recovery Technique – Reduce Stress and Anxiety with the “Dump It Here” Journal Exercise

Do you find yourself constantly feeling stress and anxiety? Do you go to sleep and wake up with anxious, depressing and “worst case scenario” thoughts? Join the club. GAD, a.k.a Generalized Anxiety Disorder in on the rise as home values fall, friends wait to be employed, world events clash and all the normal, everyday, aggravations aggravate. (Bosses, spouses, kids, pets, neighbors, girlfriends, family …)

The first step to stress and anxiety recovery is accepting that most, if not all, people, places and things, are out of your control. Great. If you can’t handle them, you know who can. This exercise is all about acknowledging your worries and passing them on up to the god of your understanding, your angels, the universe … you pick.

Dump It Here Journal Exercise

Step 1: Arm yourself with a cheap spiral notebook and pen or a file on your hard drive.

Step 2: Write down whatever is bugging you. List things you need to do – people you need to see and call – projects to complete. Express your fears about life, money, your boss, marriage … grieve your disappointments … Vent about lbs that won’t drop off, kids that don’t clean their rooms and cultures that refuse to cooperate. Got a resentment? Dump it here!

Whine, pound, complain, misspell – let your dark side scribe. Put “Nice Girl” on hold.

Step 3. When you’re done (1-3 pages), close the book or file. Don’t Continue reading

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