|Feeling stressed out? Learn ways to calm the stress in your life.
Feeling stressed out? Most Americans do.
Not all stress is bad. A certain amount of stress enables executives to perform at their peak.But too much stress can be harmful. Stress is linked to such chronic conditions such as heart disease and depression.
The trick is to manage or control stress to keep it within healthy limits. If your stress meter is soaring, learn to relax. Here are some soothing ways to handle the stress in your life.
Most people take shallow breaths that fill only part of the lungs. Deep breathing gets more oxygen into the lungs and can help calm the brain. Try these steps:
This simple but powerful exercise can be done almost anywhere. It can be combined with meditation or muscle relaxation.
2. Relax your muscles
3. Say yes to yoga
Yoga is gentle form of exercise that is safe for most people when it’s practiced correctly. Consult a trained yoga teacher. Make sure you ask your doctor before you start any new activity.
4. Try tai chi
Tai chi is a low-impact aerobic activity, so you can chill out and burn some calories at the same time. Another advantage to tai chi is its low risk of injury.
Take a tai chi class or buy a book or instructional video. Once you learn how to do tai chi, you can practice almost anywhere.
There are many different types of meditation. One type is mindfulness meditation. You can practice mindfulness while sitting in a quiet place or while walking. The key is to keep bringing your focus back to your breathing or your steps. When distractions come into your mind, observe them without judging and let them go. The technique is simple, but achieving the desired result takes practice.
6. Get a massage
If you can’t fit in or afford a visit to a spa, ask your partner or friend for a neck, back or foot rub. Trading massages can be a relaxing way to reconnect after a stressful day.
Sunburn doesn’t just cause pain and redness. It can also have immediate dangers and long-term effects. Learn the risks and find out how to protect yourself.
Between the beach, the pool and the weekend cookouts, you may be having too much fun to worry about sunburn – until that telltale stinging and redness set in. Sunburn isn’t just painful – it’s also bad for your health.
The dangers of sunburn
The sun’s rays contain two types of ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet A (UVA) causes tanning, aging skin and wrinkles. Ultraviolet B (UVB) causes sunburn. Both can cause skin cancer. You can burn on sunny days, cloudy days and cold days. The white sand on the beach and the white snow of winter both reflect the sun’s rays. You can burn whether you’re skiing on water or snow.
Signs of sunburn are redness and pain. You may also have swelling and blistering. Get medical attention right away if you have a severe burn that covers your body, or if you have chills, vomiting, an upset stomach or confusion.
Every time you tan or burn, DNA damage builds up in the deeper levels of your skin. Having five or more burns over a lifetime – even in childhood – doubles your chances of getting skin cancer.
Other side effects of tanning and burning include premature wrinkles and age (pigment) spots. Over time the sun can age your skin, making it tough and leathery.
Remember that your eyes can burn, too. Too much sun can burn your corneas and lead to various eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It can even cause blindness.
The truth about sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen doesn’t always keep you from burning. No sunscreen can completely protect you from UV rays.
A sunscreen labeled “waterproof” or “water resistant” will not protect you all day. When you swim or sweat, reapply your sunscreen. Waterproof sunscreens last about 80 minutes in the water. Those labeled “water resistant” last about 40 minutes.
The UV index
Your local news may broadcast daily heat index reports. The higher the index, the less time it will take to burn. Here is your risk for overexposure to the damaging UV rays. The number indicates the daily UV index, followed by the degree of risk. The higher the index on a given day, the greater the need to protect yourself.
- 0-2: low
- 3-4: moderate
- 5-6: high
- 7-10: very high
- 11+: extreme
Follow these prevention tips:
- Use only water-resistant or waterproof sunscreen. It should protect against both UVA and UVB rays and have an SPF of at least 15. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing when possible. Always include a hat and sunglasses.
- Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are strongest. If your shadow is shorter than you are, get out of the sun.
- Keep children in the shade and in protective clothing. If shade or protective clothing are not available, apply a minimal amount of sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 to small areas like the cheeks and backs of the hands. If a child under age 1 gets sunburn, apply cool compresses and call your pediatrician right away. Also call if an older child has a sunburn with fever, blistering, severe pain or lethargy.
- Be aware that water, snow and sand all reflect UV raysand increase your chances for sunburn.
Cool wet compresses, lotions and baths may help relieve sunburn pain. For serious burns, call your doctor. Medication may prevent infection and help with the swelling and pain.