Tip of the Month for April 2004

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If your New Year’s resolution to attain "balance" in your life has died on the vine, or your plans to tackle tension with regular exercise have evaporated, it may be time to re-charge your batteries. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
  1. Take a breather...during the day, during the week, and periodically throughout the year. No one is productive and effective when they are tired, feeling frustrated or over-whelmed. Get away from your desk for lunch. Take a break--even a short one away from your desk and your telephone- to stretch your muscles and revitalize yourself. Do something fun every weekend and periodically plan short trips or visits to provide some variety and respite from daily chores.

  2. Talking of breath... take a tip from practiced meditation experts and yoga fans. When you feel anxious, angry or stressed... breathe deeply in and out. For centuries, deep breathing has been used as an effective remedy to calm the mind. It works. Try counting your breaths-- in and out--up to 10 -do it three times-going back to 1 if you lose count.

  3. Stretch tight muscles. Many of us develop tight upper chest and neck muscles from poor posture sitting hunched over the keyboard. These tight muscles can translate into pounding tension headaches. Take a few minutes to loosen them. When you are at the keyboard for a while, every hour or so, raise your shoulders up towards your ears, then pull your shoulder blades together, then drop your shoulders and lower arms to start position.

  4. Drink plenty of water. If you don’t, you could end up tired, headachy and irritable. Coffee and sodas containing caffeine actually rob you of needed fluids. Drink them if you must--but be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

  5. Resolve to get enough sleep. Americans are a nation of sleep-deprived people. Statistics show that few of us get the 8 hours rest that our grandparents enjoyed. Unwind before going to bed with soothing music, a good book and sip herbal tea or a milky hot drink. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, hearty snacks, generous cocktails and the visual stimulation of TV or the computer.

Finally if you are a stressed-out business owner, there is a good chance you don’t delegate easily--or look for help to lighten your load. Whether it is getting help with house cleaning or yard work at home or delegating some supervisory tasks at the office, odds are that you can lighten your load, if you’re willing to let go. And...trying some of the tips outlined above might just help you do that.


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