Let’s face it, 2017 is turning out to be a difficult year. In O-town, our stressors include the tangled re-construction of I-4 (the ultimate traffic maze), disappointing sports scores and most recently the long, frightening Night of Irma (succeeded by moldering piles of debris). While struggle and loss unite and strengthen us, they also can disappoint and discourage us.
It takes effort to envision a beautiful, functional, pothole-free I-4 coursing through the heart of Orlando, or a championship season (or two) or the restoration of our battered landscapes and green spaces. We can retreat, lick our wounds (nothing wrong with that) and then we can choose to shake off our lassitude and create our future with optimism.
5 tips to for Practicing Optimism:
Change of scenery: take a break, a road trip, plan a getaway.
Upgrade your personal spaces: paint, plant, restore, replace.
Pitch in: help a neighbor, volunteer, plant a community garden.
Boost your health: declutter your pantry and kitchen, enjoy more fresh food.
Laugh & smile: seek out comedy, music, art and friendships.
Still not convinced? According to current research optimists have healthier hearts, stronger immune systems and live happier and longer lives. So when you can, take a breath, relax, laugh a little, smile a lot and be optimistic.
Can clothing and accessories actually cause pain? Or do they simply exacerbate pain already present? Either way, if you experience pain when (or after) wearing or carrying certain clothing items or accessories, vary your wardrobe choices to determine what helps and what actually hurts.
Loosen up: choose clothing that doesn’t bind or restrict movement. Spandex can certainly be your friend.
Lighten up: clean out your bags, totes, wallets regularly, reducing their weight.
Mix it up: Alternate your daily styles and accessories so your body gets a break when you regularly shift the pressure on your back, neck, shoulders, arms and legs.
Stay centered: be conscious of clothing and accessories that throw you off your center of gravity and restrict your movement or breath.
Take the pressure off: If clothing or accessories bind or restrict, leave imprints or chafe, consider replacing with new styles that incorporate both comfort and style.
If you actually remember yours, congratulations, you may be a member of an elite group of achievers. While approximately 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, only about 8% of those resolvers actually achieve their goals. It’s also highly probable that you captured your resolutions in writing or in digital form as well. Keep up the good work and encourage a few friends to join you in 2017.
Nope, I don’t remember my 2016 resolutions!
Take some time to reflect. Then list the ideas, goals, projects, dreams you would like to pursue in 2017. From that list, select your top 5 (our fav number). Then share. Things we keep to ourselves or/do alone are often doomed to fail. Recruit a friend. Help each other. Each of you lists a few simple action steps for your top goal or goals to focus on for 2017. Then (the most important part) – each of you make a copy of your list and swap copies. Meet regularly over the year for coffee or lunch and share your progress (and your setbacks). Less stress, more fun and you’ll be amazed at your results.
Uh-oh, I didn’t resolve a darn thing in 2016!
You’re in good company – 38% of Americans don’t make any New Year’s Resolutions. Resolving is just too serious a business for some of us. Alternate strategy: Take Action. Make a list of things you’d like to eliminate from your life. Then get busy. Recycle, re-gift and/or discard what no longer works (or at least not for you), end/or repair relationships that drain you, or aren’t working. Eliminate things that burn your time and energy. Clean out – donate, dispose of stuff, pass on, get rid of clutter – release things that are no longer useful. It’s often said that “nature abhors a vacuum.” The simple act of creating physical space in your life will attract new things, new people and cool, new creative ideas to energize and inspire you in 2017. Pow!
We all want to leave Thanksgiving dinner feeling grateful, happy and satiated, especially after all the political drama we are experiencing this year. To reduce the potential for experiencing undue stress, we’d like to share some “question deflection” strategies.
Answer a question with a question.
Q: How’s your love life?
A: Why do you ask?
Turn the question around.
Q: What are you planning to do with your degree in Victorian Literature?
A: Wow, I was about to ask you: how did you find your first job in Applied Physics?
Expand the time frame (somewhere between now and never).
Q: Who did you vote for?
A: I did a lot of research and made my own choice, so I’m keeping it to myself for the next few years to see how it goes.
Anticipate routine questions – rehearse your answers (humor is always good).
Q: Can we expect the pitter-patter of little feet soon?
A: We thought you might be wondering about that, so we’re agreed to let you know – we’re adopting a puppy next year.
Establish boundaries: decide in advance which questions you will politely decline to answer at all.
Q: How much money are you pulling in these days? Are you planning to lose weight?
A: That’s actually personal and I really need to leave it at that!
We wish you a happy, memorable and peaceful Thanksgiving. Take 5 Massage is closed Thanksgiving Day, we’ll be there the day before and then back on the Friday after. We can soothe your spirit and aid your digestion. Happy Thanksgiving.
Floridians enjoy a four season climate: Tourist season, Hurricane season, Football season and HalloThanxChrisNuYears. That said, we reverently pay homage to the seasons in absentia like Fall and Winter.
Amazing athletes show up in our massage chairs: beginners, amateurs, seasoned pros and even the top tier elite athletes! The US Olympic diving team (and their coaches) recently training in Orlando, found their way into our chairs! During the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament, golfers and golf fans alike find us. And year-round, Disney Marathoners show up to relax and restore in our chairs (before or after) their races.
After all, competitive athletics and massage therapy go waaaay back – all the way to 776 BC (the Greek Olympics). Massage warms and loosens muscles before a competition and helps to reduce swelling and pain afterwards. Massage soothes the central nervous system, improves range of motion, reduces muscle fatigue and promotes healing. Today massage is highly sought out by athletes in all sports, at all levels, all over the world.
Athletes, like the rest of us, also appreciate chair massage – it’s efficient, effective, affordable, and convenient. Since chair massage relieves tension, reduces pain, relieves headaches and promotes well-being – it’s a win for athletes at any level, regardless of their goals or their outcomes.
More than you might imagine! A 2012 study at MIT discovered that driving in city traffic can be as stressful as jumping from a plane. I-4 shoots us daily through the heart of Orlando – a heavy stream of traffic moving at variable, unpredictable speeds through winding construction zones. Add tourists – or a few kids in the backseat – shake, stir and presto: the conditions favoring the “Ultimate” stress level are achieved, simply trying to get from here to there.
Commute Much? A 2012 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the farther people commute by vehicle, the higher their blood pressure (BP) and body mass index (BMI). Since re-construction of I-4, optimistically dubbed, “I-4 Ultimate”, is scheduled to continue until 2021 (YIKES), best buckle yourself in and adjust your driving strategies to manage your speed, space and stress. Orlando, let’s pull together, survive together and (eventually) cross the finish line, alive and well!