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BREATHE, Unwind & Rejuvenate: 5 Reminders

The effects of stress can become incapacitating. The signs creep in as we juggle careers, family responsibilities, and the ever-changing demands of daily life. More often than not, we ignore them and just keep trudging forward through the whirlwind of life.

We are bombarded with so many big issues beyond our control. With soaring food prices, the housing crisis, and climate change licking at our doorsteps, we have a lot on our plate. Not to mention the volatile state of our world. We cannot even get into the heart-wrenching tragedies and depth of sadness that merely being a distant bystander evokes.

For people like us, with thriving careers, undergoing a career change, or maybe even easing into retirement with bustling family dynamics - finding moments of peace and relaxation can feel like a far-off magic fairyland. So many of us are experiencing burnout, and we do not even recognize it. Yet, amidst the chaos, it's even more essential to prioritize our collective well-being and seek out opportunities to unwind and rejuvenate.

As we attempt to balance work, family, and personal well-being, we recognize the importance of carving out time for our health. We know stress affects our physical and mental health, impacting everything from our sleep patterns to our relationships. Taking proactive steps to combat stress is not just a luxury. It’s necessary, not just for us as individuals but for us collectively.

If not now, then when? Because no one is coming to rescue us from the issues staring squarely at us.  We can collectively take baby steps towards a more stable world to leave to the next generation.

Here are some practical strategies tailored for you:

1. Embrace the Power of Nature: As Atlantic Canadians, we deeply connect to the ocean and the beautiful landscapes surrounding us. Spend time immersed in nature, whether strolling along the shoreline, hiking through the rugged coastal trails or paddle boarding on the crystal-clear waters. Nature has a remarkable ability to soothe the mind and rejuvenate the spirit, offering a welcome respite from the stresses of daily life. It's literally at our doorstep, so take advantage of it.

2. Prioritize Quality Time with Loved Ones: Family and friend connections are paramount in our lives, providing a source of joy and support amidst life's challenges. Make it a priority to carve out dedicated time for meaningful interactions with loved ones, free from the distractions of busy schedules and electronic devices. Whether it's a cozy dinner at home, a weekend getaway with family, or a gathering of friends by the beach, cherish these moments of togetherness and create lasting memories. So, make the time.

3. Indulge in Active Pursuits:  We thrive on a little adventure and enjoy staying active, whether biking along scenic trails, swimming in the ocean, or exploring new hiking routes. Engaging in physical activities promotes physical health and releases endorphins, the body's natural stress relievers. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, and seek opportunities to try new activities that ignite your passion for adventure. Remember, baby steps forward.

4. Practice Mindful Eating: As individuals who appreciate healthy food and value well-being, mindful eating can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and promoting overall wellness. Take the time to savour each bite, focusing on the flavours and textures of your meals. Embrace nourishing, whole foods that fuel your body and support your active lifestyle. Consider exploring local farmers' markets and specialty stores to discover fresh, locally sourced ingredients that inspire your culinary creations. Even better, grow a little window sill garden.

5. Create Relaxation Habits: Amidst the craziness of daily life, it's essential to carve out moments of quiet relaxation. Establish soothing habits that help you unwind and center yourself, whether indulging in a warm bath infused with essential oils, practicing yoga or meditation, or simply curling up with a good book in your favourite cozy nook. If you have not yet tried breathwork, we highly recommend it. Prioritize health and make time for activities that nourish your spirit. If these activities are new to you, maybe start with online sessions. There are so many opportunities to try new things, even from the comfort of your own home. Just try it out.

In conclusion, stress management is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. It is a journey of discovery. By embracing the unique opportunities and experiences available to us as Atlantic Canadians, we can cultivate a lifestyle prioritizing well-being, connection, and adventure. Collectively, we are surrounded by small business owners who have generated so many new initiatives and activities - we do not have to look beyond our incredible East Coast lifestyle to find our niche.

Remember - be kind to yourself, and don't hesitate to seek support from loved ones or professional resources when needed. Together, we can navigate life's challenges with resilience, strength, and a spirit of adventure.

PS. For further reading on the topic of stress, burnout and to complete the stress cycle, we suggest Brene Brown's podcast: https://brenebrown.com/podcast/brene-with-emily-and-amelia-nagoski-on-burnout-and-how-to-complete-the-stress-cycle/
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