With all of the things that are supposed to simplify our lives, it seems we are more “stressed out” than ever. That’s why, in 1992, April was designated as Stress Awareness Month, an attempt by The Health Resource Network (HRN) to address – and combat – the growing Stress Epidemic.
Active Adults may find that, in their search to simplify their lives, they create more stress. After all, retirement, moving to a new home, and health issues, are considered contributors to stress. Health issues seem like a reasonable stress factor, but retirement and a new home ought to be stress relievers, one would think.
HRN, along with health practitioners around the world, have come up with a few ways you can celebrate Stress Awareness Month, and perhaps experience some positive side effects:
Get – or stay – active
We all know that exercise is beneficial to our cardiovascular system, and contributes to weight loss, and more. But did you know that exercise has a positive effect on our moods, as well? Endorphins released during physical activity actually make us happier, which reduces the effects of stress.
We often feel ourselves grow more stressed when we hear the word “diet.” (It’s a four-letter word, after all!) But this isn’t the must-lose-weight type; diet in stress awareness includes consuming fresh foods, which is easy to do as spring ushers in the Farmer’s Market season. (Check out Marietta Square Farmer’s Market http://www.mariettasquarefarmersmarket.com/, and Main Street Woodstock Farmer’s Market http://www.woodstockga.gov/index.aspx?NID=464&ART=1832&admin=1, both of which feature produce and more from local and organic farmers).
Change may sound scary, but making just one adjustment to a routine – to simplify the day – can actually reduce stress. Something as simple as automatic bill-pay for utility bills, placing a favorite chair near a window to take advantage of natural light, or working with a professional organizer to bring order to a closet or office can have a positive impact on your daily routine.
“Mindfulness” is a buzz word right now, but what does it really mean? You don’t have to sit on the floor and meditate, but focusing on your breath when you experience a stressful situation actually does have a positive impact on your mood and health. But “being present” can be as simple as “unplugging” when you take a walk or have lunch with a friend, and leaving the cell phone in another room when you go to bed at night.
Research suggests that helping another reduces blood pressure and releases endorphins (those “feel-good” hormones). Whether you spend time with grandchildren, allowing your adult children to run errands, or you sign up with a local non-profit about which you feel strongly, helping others is a great way to reduce stress.
At Windsong, all of these stress reducing activities are easy to do. With wide, walkable sidewalks, staying active is easy. Each community is located within minutes of communities that have year-round or seasonal Farmer’s Markets, as well as shopping and restaurants that have heeded the call for more organic and health-conscious offerings. A plethora of windows throughout each home offers natural light options, as well as private courtyards to allow homeowners to spend relaxing, stress-free time outdoors for a welcome change of pace. Unplugging is easy, with luxurious master suites, thoughtfully designed kitchens, and finishes that enable homeowners to engage in hobbies such as painting, reading, and more. And many Windsong homeowners choose their community based on proximity to grandchildren, as well as thriving cities with active volunteer organizations.
Welcome to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!