How to feel better, mentally and physically, without spending a lot of money or going to the gym

by cherylone

When life bullies us, we get tired, worn, and depressed. These tips will help you fight back.

Are you tired of life’s same old-same old? Can’t seem to get into the right frame of mind to succeed? Work keeping you behind? Have dull boring chores that you don’t want to do hanging over your head? Don’t even feel like getting dressed when you go out? Feel like just throwing in the towel? There are more, I know, but I think you get the idea. We all feel low, tired, and sick of all the things life likes to throw at us from time to time. But we never seem to find the exact cure for those daily blues.

Sometimes we have to fight back when life starts 'bullying us'.

Here are a few ideas that can help you fight back, including health suggestions, motivational tricks, and just plain relaxation tips.  I have used them all, sometimes one at a time and sometimes all together, but I have found that they do help.  If you don’t like drastic change in your daily routine, try doing one thing until it is routine and then move on to another (about a week or so).  Also, some of these things might make fellow workers etc.  look at you like you have gone a bit further out on the branch than you should, but once they see you brighter, thinner, and filled with the energy you need to get things done, they will be right there with you!

When life bullies you.....
When life bullies y...
Tell yourself you won't take 'no' for an answer!
Tell yourself you w...

Need some motivation to get you ahead in life?

Look in the mirror and tell yourself you can do it.  Mean it when you say it.  Point at yourself and let yourself know that you won’t take no for an answer. 

Tell yourself that you will succeed no matter what obstacles come your way!  Do this every day before starting your day and every night before going to bed. And none of this--yeah, I guess I’ll do something good tomorrow, garbage.  You need to get up and let yourself know that you will not allow yourself to fail!  It sounds silly, but by telling yourself over and over again that you will succeed, your psyche will pick up on the message and pass it on to your brain.  Before you know it, you will be succeeding because your brain will be working in that mode!

When you first wake up in the morning, before you even get out of bed.....

Try telling yourself that ‘today is a new day’.  In other words, no matter what happened yesterday, today starts a new day.

Tell yourself this is a new day!
Tell yourself this ...

A new chance to make things better; a new start without the curse of yesterday.  Even if yesterday was a good day, today can be a better day if you start it right!  Remember, yesterday is done and can’t be changed; so you have to concentrate on today and how you can make it better than yesterday.

When the stress of the day has your muscles 'all tied up' inside.....

Try taking a long hot bath with your favorite music playing.  Soak in water as hot as you can get it.  Mix a tablespoon of baking soda in with the water (this will open your pores and get all of the pollutants of the day out of them).  Have your music at the volume you love.  Lay back against the back of the tub with a rolled up towel to support your head and neck.  Place a hot wet face cloth (wring it out good) over your face and just close your eyes and relax for about 1/2 an hour. 

For a bit of added relaxation.....

Purchase lavender from a local herb store and place in a tea bag (or you can fold a cheesecloth into a small square, place the lavender inside-tie with a rubber band) and let float in the hot water.  The lavender will soften the skin, add a relaxing scent to the air, and help with the overall relaxation process. 

To get yourself motivated to do all of those things you hate to do...

Try rewarding yourself with a treat once it’s done.  For instance, once all the laundry is done, try soaking in a hot tub with a glass of your favorite wine (just one!)  Keep the treats as special things that you don’t do all of the time so that they will be a treat.  By rewarding yourself for a job well done, you not only get the items done, you actually build your self-respect and your confidence as well.  Sort of like when the boss tells you that you did a great job on your presentation.  You don’t get that often, so it really makes a difference in how you perform your job!

A nice glass of wine...
A nice glass of win...

Plan a vacation away from home.

Even if it is to spend the day at the beach with friends or have a picnic with the family.  No matter how trivial it might be, just getting away from the house, the work, the stress, and the routine will make the difference.  Try planning out the day with those who will be going with you several days (or weeks) in advance. 

Plan a vacation away from home.
Plan a vacation awa...

This will not only make sure you are fully prepared, but it will build the anticipation for the trip as well.  Remember, during this trip there will be no access to e-mail; no referrals to work; no discussions about how unfair the boss is; no talk of bills and money due; and no discussions of how stupid a teacher is.  Nothing that will remind you of work, school, and/or home stresses!

Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you getting eno...

Are you getting enough sleep at night?

If you aren’t getting at least 6 hours of sleep every night (preferably 7-8), you are hurting yourself in the end.  Sleep is how your body refuels itself.  The body can’t run 24/7 without proper rest, just like a machine can’t run 24/7 without proper maintenance. 

Can't seem to get the perfect night's sleep no matter what you do?

Try natural sleep aids such as chamomile tea or a supplement called melatonin (a supplement that is naturally occurring in the body and tells the body it is time for sleep-start with 1 mg and work your way up-be careful not to take too much right away or you might not want to wake up the next day). If these items don’t work, try speaking to your doctor about things you can do.

Speaking of supplements.....

Check out your vitamins and supplements to make sure you are taking the correct amount of what you need to be at your best.  Sadly, we don’t get the vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy in our food, especially in this day and age of diet-diet-diet!  Everyone is different, too, and that means that their intake of vitamins should be different.  Children will need more than young adults; young adults will need more or less based on their activity levels and backgrounds; older adults may need more or different supplements based on their particular health situation. 

As always, make sure your doctor is aware of any supplements you are taking and be careful not to overdose yourself.  Even supplements can be dangerous in large quantities.

You'll be reaching the stars....
You'll be reaching ...

Check with the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for your age group.  There are many sites out there that can give you information.  I have listed some below, but there are so many more.  Look before you leap into vitamin and supplement support.  Also, if you have specific health issues, additional supplements may help relieve many of the problems.  For instance:  for excessive feelings of being tired, you might want to add a Vitamin B Complex to your regime.  With the right supplements, you could be on top and reaching for the stars!

Before you go anywhere.....

This pertains to ladies and gentlemen...

Take a look at yourself in the mirror.  Is your hair nice?  Is your suit neat and clean?  Are you dressed nicely?  Is your makeup on and right?  Did you take the time to make sure your shoes match?  Is your tie straight?  By taking a few moments to make yourself look nice, you actually give your morale a big boost.  When you go out knowing that you look good, your psyche will tell the rest of you that you look good and you will feel good as a result.

Feel like you just can't survive without treats?
On a diet....

On a diet.....

Try treating yourself in the morning (moderation is the key).  That way you will have all day to ‘work’ it off.  Obviously you shouldn’t do this daily, but a treat every now and then will help you to stay on track and by treating yourself in the morning the excess sugar stands a better chance of being burned rather than stored.

Like TV snacking?

Try eating healthy snacks like carrot or celery sticks.  Not quite what you had in mind?  Try pouring those potato chips into a small bowl and limit what you eat to what’s in the bowl.  When you snack while doing another activity, you tend to continue eating until the snack is gone.  So that large bag of chips will be gone before you even realize you opened the bag.  By pouring a little into a bowl, you are limiting what you eat.  Most people won’t get up to get more because that requires moving again.  If that doesn’t work, then try not having the snacks in the house at all.  If they aren’t there when you go looking for them, you are more likely to get something else; or, even better, go without.  For a healthy snack without much calories, try popcorn-air popped with only a touch of salt and very little butter can add a great deal of fiber to the diet with less calories than those greasy-salty chips.

When you feel a need to snack...

Usually late in the afternoon around 3 pm, right?

Try drinking a glass of water and snacking on a handful of nuts.  Or try green tea with honey (honey is a natural sugar that is quickly broken down by the body for a fast burst of energy without the fear of storage).  Green tea helps your body to naturally break down what it needs to keep the ‘home fires burning’ inside the body until supper time rolls around.  Or grab an apple.  Remember that adage of ‘an apple a day helps keep the doctor away”?  Well, in many cases it is true.  An apple is loaded with natural sugars that the body can easily break down for energy and an apple is loaded with fiber which makes you feel fuller longer (that means you might not eat as much at dinner time as well).   Eat the skin for more fiber!

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber.....

We hear all the time about how we need more in our diet, right?

Here’s why: Fibers are SLOWLY digested and processed by the body, making you feel fuller longer.  Also many fibers can’t be completely broken down by the body and thus cause the body to work harder trying to digest them before it pushes them (and any unwanted fats and carbs with it) through the system.  This is why many of us get gas after eating something high in fiber and why fiber helps to keep us regulated as far as our intestines are concerned.  High fiber means higher, denser, and faster moving items through the intestines.  That causes the body to absorb less of the fats and sugars because they are actually moving faster through the small intestines into the larger ones, where they will be processed as waste.

Are you a couch potato?

Do you often get 'remote thumb' from changing the channels?

Try getting up to change the channels (Yes, I said get up and change the channels!)  Try getting up and getting a fresh glass of water during commercials. 

Try getting up and dancing to the commercial music.  Try getting up and dancing during the show.  Try just plain getting up!  Your body can tell when you are not moving much and will slowly shut down the ‘fuel fires’ until they are needed.  When the body does this, it stops burning the sugars and fats in your system and stores them for later use.  So, when you eat a big supper and then sit on the couch, your body takes all of the food you just ate and stores it away.  If you get up and keep moving, your body needs to break down the food for the energy it needs to move.  Remember, that your body needs fuel for anything that it does.  That means it needs energy to keep the heart moving and the blood flowing.  But it only needs small amounts for these things to function.  If you move, it not only needs the basic fuel but now it needs much more!  So move, move, move!

Speaking of moving.....

Try exercising for a newer, more energetic you.

Sad but true!  Exercise helps the body to require more energy so that it begins to breakdown the sugars it had stored as fat.  When this happens, your body gets a burst of energy just as if you just drank an entire chocolate ice cream shake with a double shot of caffeine. 

But it doesn't mean you have to exercise before or after work.....

The more you move, the better.  Does that mean that you have to go to work all day long and then come home and exercise for several hours before bed?  NO!  What it means is that you need to keep yourself more active during your day.

  • Park your car further away from the building so you will have to walk further to get inside.
  • Fix a lunch and lots of healthy snacks in a large lunch bag so that you have to carry the extra weight on the way to work.
  • Use the stairs and not the elevator.
  • Drink water instead of sweet drinks and get up to get the water instead of having extra bottles at your desk.
  • Take only 1/2 hour for lunch and then walk for the other 1/2 hour (or climb stairs or go window shopping).
  • If you need to talk to someone in the same building about something, get up and go to their cubicle (instead of using the phone).
  • When multi-tasking, keep in mind how much you need to get up and move.  So when you need to get copies made, get up and go get them done right away instead of stacking them all for later.
  • Move at your desk!!!!!  Stretch now and then.  Move things to the far edges of your desk so you have to ‘reach’ for them.  Get up when you need to get something out of the file cabinet instead of rolling your chair there.  Stand up and pace to the end of your cubicle and back now and then to get the blood flowing again.
  • Set a small timer to hourly intervals (or whatever interval you like) and every time it goes off; do something different.  For instance:  get up and walk around your chair and sit back down.  Anything to move.
  • Try not to do the same thing all the time.  Once your body gets used to a certain movement, it becomes routine for the body and it no longer has any benefit.  By doing different things, you trick the body into thinking it will need more energy to do whatever it is you are doing.

OK, here is one that will rile a few feathers.

Is someone getting up to get a hot drink, beer, cookie, whatever, and you would like one for yourself?  GET UP, make them sit down and offer to get theirs while you get your own!  So often we fall into the trap of “well they offered and I am soooo tired”.  Believe it or not, you are much more tired when you do very little all day than you are when you do a lot.  Why? Because your body slows down fuel burning when requirements slow down; so, when you do nothing all day, your ‘fuel burner’ is basically off and on hold.  This makes you extremely tired because with no fuel supply you have no energy!

Some possible motivation...

Once you put your body in the fat/carb/sugar burning mode, it will choose to burn the fat/carb/sugar before it chooses to store it!  That means that not only will the body store less in the way of fats, but you will have much more energy for the things you want to do without even putting out any effort!

Take breaks in your strict routine.

What I mean is: if you are on a strict diet, then take one day a week to ‘break’ it with a favorite treat. Tell yourself ahead of time when the ‘break’ will be so that you have something to look forward to for all of your hard work. Other examples: take one day to laze around the house; on the last day of the week drink a latte instead of coffee; buy desert for your lunch on Monday to make the day feel better; take yourself out to a nice restaurant for dinner once a month (ask a friend to join you for company); go out and get yourself a new outfit (guy or gal-this can make you feel refreshed and brighter); or plan a get together with friends--get a coffee at the local coffee shop and discuss the week’s events.

Try to avoid the following for a better feeling you:

  • Cigarettes--not only do they fill your lungs up with nicotine and tar, they turn your skin and your eyes an awful yellow AND they age you prematurely.  Try talking to your doctor about a prescription medication to help; try using nicotine gum; try using herbs; try using a support group. Whatever it takes, try it until you finally kick the habit. Your lungs, your heart, your skin, and your family and friends will thank you for it.
  • Alcohol--Ok, I know, you like to have a beer now and then, right? Or that mixed drink during the wild party at the club? Yes, alcohol in moderation seems to be an OK thing, and might possibly help to relax you a bit and maybe even help you to sleep at night. However, there are consequences to drinking. Each time you consume alcohol, you destroy brain cells by dehydrating them and reducing brain fluids. Over time alcohol will affect the kidneys, liver, and eventually all of the organs as well. Moderation keeps the damage to a minimum.
  • Sugar--yes, I went there. Sugar can be found in just about everything. Sugar is a direct source of energy for the body, but it also causes many dangerous side effects.  First, the body can’t break down the sugar without insulin.  Insulin is produced by the pancreas which is overworked when you eat too much sugar too often (risk for Diabetes).
A small factoid you might not know:

Carbs are just as bad as, if not worse than, sugar! Carbs such as bread, pasta, rolls, pie crust, butter, etc. are difficult for the body to break down so the body stores them in favor of the sugars that can be easily broken down. Carbs also contain extra fats that the body automatically stores for emergencies!

Also, when the body can’t break down the sugars as quickly as they are being ingested, the body will store the sugars in the form of fat for a later time. However, if you continue to consume the sugars, there is never a later time and the fat builds up in the body. Excess fat will slow the body down and raise your heart rate and blood pressure as the body struggles to keep up. After a time, the body runs out of places to safely store the excess fat and it will start storing it in and/or on the organs themselves.

One more thing before I finish:

If you find that you are sad, run down, and nothing seems to help--find a funny movie and watch it; go out and do something that you love to do; or get together with a friend and find something to laugh about.  Not only with these tricks raise your spirits, but laughter burns lots more calories!

Laughing burns calories....
The Dietary Reference Intake is a system of nutrition recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The DRI system is used by both the United States and Canada and is intended for the general ...
Updated: 03/17/2012, cherylone
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cherylone on 11/02/2012

I hear ya. You might want to check with your doctor before you assume it is old age because when I start showing those symptoms it means my blood iron level is low--again. I have a long history of anemia and truly know what you are talking about.

Ragtimelil on 11/02/2012

I walk the dogs twice a day but still fall asleep almost every afternoon, even when I've had a good night's sleep. Sometimes I have trouble staying awake and just no energy to do anything. I'm getting to be an ole fogey!

cherylone on 03/19/2012

Thank you Mladen, glad you stopped by. And you have a nice day as well. :)

Mladen on 03/18/2012

There are some very useful advices, exercise is always working for me. Have a good day!:)

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