Dig in!

Gardening

Digging in the dirt benefits your soil – and your mind, body, and soul make out pretty well, too. It’s that time; spring has taken a long while to arrive this year. Pick up your garden gloves and your trowel and dig in!

The benefits of gardening are everywhere!

Helps you sleep better
Increases hand strength and dexterity

Enter the Wahooz Fun Zone Drawing!

How to Play: Make sure you are registered and logged in to ChooseHealthMatters.com. If you are not already registered, go to the column on the right. Click on “register” to get started.

Make a comment to this blog post by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 by answering this question “What is the biggest benefit you and/or your family receive from gardening – whether it is fruits, veggies, or flowers?” Your comment will automatically enter you into a drawing for a set of two FREE tickets to Wahooz Fun Zone in Meridian, Idaho. You must be a State of Idaho employee to be in the drawing for tickets.

Winners will be posted on Health Matters Stress Center on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

NOTE: IDOC employees are not able to register for blogs. IDOC employees may email their comments to the Blog Administrator.  Their comments will be added to Dig In! by the Administrator; they will be entered into the Wahooz Fun Zone drawing.

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Don’t be a bear.

Hibernate

Hibernating this winter? Had enough of the snow, ice, and sub-zero weather? Are the kids turning on you? Stop! When winter weather forces you indoors it’s time to deal with all that pent-up energy. Find creative ways to get and stay active during these cold months. It’s a challenge, but you can conquer those winter doldrums!

So, before you settle into the recliner tonight… consider these ideas

And remember…spring is coming!

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Techno-Stress?

Technology Stress

Huh? Guess what – heavy technology use (computers, phones, TV) is linked to fatigue, stress, and depression, particularly in young adults. All of our gadgets and screens are affecting our sleep. And, as we know, sleep is truly the gateway to good health.

Specific findings…

  • Those constantly accessible via cell phones were the most likely to report mental health issues
  • Men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems
  • Frequently using a computer without breaks further increases the risk of stress, sleeping problems, and depressive symptoms in women
  • Read more…

What can you do?

  • Reclaim your bedroom!
  • Exercise regularly
  • Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake before bedtime
  • See a doctor or sleep professional if your problems persist

Think you and your family are immune to techno-stress? Do some self-reflection over the coming week. Most of us started using technology for efficiency and safety reasons…but think about it. When was the last time you went tech-free for the day? Can you put your phone/tablet away and out of sight during meetings, conferences, while driving? Do you feel left out or that you are missing out on something if you leave your phone at home? Do you check your work emails from home just because you can?

If you are blurring the lines between work and home, the stress will eventually catch up. And, think of what you are modeling for your children! Choose to take control. Drive your own bus. Take charge of your technology.

Share your ideas on how to manage techno-stress.

 

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Do your holidays feel toxic?

Holiday Stress

For some, the holidays can feel almost toxic, or at the very least painful. If the holidays feel like a month-long panic attack to you, try these tips

  • Uni-task; don’t multi-task
  • Create a playlist that soothes your soul
  • Learn to say “no” and mean it
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Let others host the party, make the dinner, plan the event
  • More tips on saving your sanity

Sometimes it’s you or your family at the root of holiday stress. Families go through life-changing events throughout the year which can come out in blaring ways during the holidays. Some of those causes are

Wherever your holiday stress is coming from, remember there are ways to avoid it or recover from it. Don’t let the holidays get your down!

Share a healthy tip on how you manage holiday stress.

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Holiday Pressure Cooker?

Holiday Stress

Before your holidays get to the pressure-cooker stage, take a minute. Reduce holiday stress; create the holiday you want. Keep the joy and the stress of family in perspective… from family dinners and obligations to family traditions. While you’re at it, don’t forget to keep a healthy heart during the holiday season.  Try these tips to keep the pressure-cooker lid on!

  • Be realistic about what you can accomplish this season
  • Simplify your holiday plans
  • Make a budget…and stick to it!
  • Be active whenever you can
  • Take a minute – sit, close your eyes, breathe
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep most nights
  • Eat nutritious meals when you can
  • Ask for hlep when you need it
  • Forgive and forget
  • Use the Stress Center resources. There are tip sheets, video clips, books, articles, and powerpoints.

What works for you when holiday stress starts to get out of hand…?

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Take it outside!

The next time you feel like falling into the recliner or perching yourself comfortably with your laptop, smart phone, tablet or whatever… STOP! Take it outside. In fact, take the whole family outside. Put down the remotes, put away the technology, turn off the power. Unplug. There’s a whole world waiting for your family – outsideUnplug and Be Outside is happening across Idaho in April and May. Check out the FREE activities in your area. Try a new activity. Have a family contest. Each family member can choose an activity for everyone to try – rock climbing, golf, fishing, bike rodeo, geocaching, star gazing, camping, belly dancing, hockey, zumba, ice skating, gardening…and the list goes on! Check out Health Matters for more ideas. Come on – reconnect with the earth. Take it outside!

How does your family “take it outside” and be active?

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