5 things to help you make lifestyle changes, take the heat off
Gender gaps exist in many areas of life. The difference in how women and men feel stress is one of them.
A British study out this week shows a gender gap in how people respond to major life events, including moving, the threat of terrorism, death of a loved one, illness, financial problems and others. The study of 2,000 people was commissioned by The Physiological Society and based on YouGov research. While science may show that women become more stressed by certain events, and that stress can lead to health consequences, lifestyle changes can give you the minor push needed to have lasting effect. Here are five things you can try:
Take a class. There is instruction in ways to de-stress. Try these:
Erie Dance Theater is now offering yoga classes, including gentle yoga on Wednesdays, from 10 to 11 a.m., at its studio, 1603 Cherry St. The class will include meditation, Asana, focus on alignment and breath. Saturday Morning Yoga will be taught Saturdays, from 8 to 9 a.m. Classes cost $10 for drop-in or $40 per month, and class card options are available. For information, call 453-7928 or visit www.eriedancetheater.com.
Also check out the programs offered by the Lifelong Learning Institute at LifeWorks Erie, 406 Peach St. LifeWorks’ offerings are for people age 50 and older. For more information, call 453-5072 or visit www.lifeworkserie.org.
Leave gaps in your calendar, on purpose. Do you have those times when you look at your calendar and wonder what you were thinking when you penciled in those four different events on Thursday night after work? Then on Thursday at 4:30, all you want is to pick up takeout and go straight to Netflix? Start planning ahead. That one free night during the week doesn’t need to be filled up with the next three invitations. It’s OK to plan time for yourself.
Get a book. There have been many words written to advise us how to de-stress our lives. A new book, «Dear Stress, I’m Breaking Up With You,» was published in February by Golden Brick Road Publishing House. It was written by Ky-Lee Hanson, but was actually a collaboration with inspiring women who share their experiences on «the trifecta of love, life and happiness.» Topics include figuring out what’s giving you stress, maintaining healthy practices, putting yourself first by prioritizing, and practicing gratitude. It’s available in paperback for $18 at www.amazon.com.
Tune in to a relaxation channel on any streaming device. Sometimes an hour of «noise» therapy is just what’s needed to change our moods, lift our spirits, keep us from going unbelievably crazy. You can usually get access to video or music, some of it free, via your devices. The free Relax Channel, available via Roku, advertises itself as featuring «amazing chill out music … and pure sound of nature.» You can also find lengthy (more than an hour) video of relaxation music on YouTube and free music playlists at various online stores. Google stress-free music to find some.
Just say no. Repeat, repeat, repeat: No, no, no. Women really don’t want to disappoint, which is why our schedules are full, our lights are turned out late, our alarms (and sometimes we need several) ring early. But declining an invitation, begging off a committee, telling our kids there will be no taxi service on Monday may be the thing we most need. Learning to say no could be the best gift you ever give to yourself.
Read more Erie-focused Women’s History Month features at GoErie.com/topics/Womens-History-Month, or follow #WomensWorkErie on Twitter.
Brenda Martin can be reached at 870-1771 or by email.