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Monday Stress Buster - Slow Down

I use several sources to keep up with what's going on the world. When two of those sources point to the same thing in the same day (and in today's case back to back) that catches my attention.  When it's about stress management, it moves to the top of my "Things I want to blog about" list. That's how I c ame to the most obvious (and yet somehow overlooked by me) idea: SLOW DOWN! Here's a link to the article that started my research.  Full disclosure: I don't agree with everything they said. Full disclosure part two: They reference a study by the Pew Research Center . If you read the article, read the study as well, because I drew a different conclusion from their study. Intellectually I KNOW I need to Slow Down. I know that "moving at the speed of business" or one of 100 other buzzwords can cause stress. So when I see the idea of "Slow Down" I think "Who doesn't know that?" But there's a huge distance from knowing

Monday Stress Buster - Visit a Foreign Country

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Fair warning: Some of these items are a little more detailed than “make a banana milkshake”. This would be one of them. In June 2022 my wife, our youngest son Tom and I took a ten-day trip to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. The tour was done by Go Ahead tours. We chose a tour company because we wanted to enjoy the different culture of the countries without having to figure out things like driving directions and (in this case) driving on the opposite side of the road. (Or as they say in the UK “You drive on the right side of the road, we drive on the correct side of the road”). The tour company arranged all the transportation and tours. That said, we also had enough time to explore the countries on our own. We were treated to incredible history. We toured castles and museums, took in the beauty of the country side and enjoyed local food. Admittedly, the food in the UK isn’t dramatically different from what we eat here (outside of baked beans for breakfast, and corn in tuna salad –

Monday Stress Buster - Watch a Sitcom

Laughter is a great way to bust stress. And an easy way to laugh is to watch a sitcom. There are plenty of good sitcoms on streaming services. Netflix and Amazon prime have some good ones. As a bonus, when you watch a sitcom on a streaming service you only have to invest around 22 minutes of your time.  If you want to go in to more detail, you can get the DVD of sitcoms. I have all seasons of The Office on DVD. Not only does it have the episode on the DVD it has bonus footage that had to be cut to fit in the half hour (aka 23 minutes plus advertisements) window. If you have an antenna (or Dish network) you might be able to access MeTV and Hogan’s Heroes (if you like old school). A totally realistic sitcom – prisoners of war are basically running World War II from inside a German POW camp. (Favorite episode: Honey Hornburg and the Stuttgart Steppers) Speaking of realistic: Big Bang Theory is another one of my favorites. (Favorite episode: All of them). Other options (with my personal

Monday Stress Buster - Walk on the Beach

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Let's take last week's stress buster post and go a little deeper. Beth and I have been married since 1990. For most of those years we have taken an extended family vacation to the beach near Charleston South Carolina (sometimes Isle of Palms, sometimes Kiawah Island, sometimes Seabrook Island).   One week every summer. We have toured the city, eaten at some fantastic restaurants, toured historical sites, shopped, gone to minor league baseball games and much much more. But if you asked Beth or me what our favorite moment on the vacations are, we would tell you “Our walks on the beach”. Every day we get to the beach, and walk on the sand, maybe put our feet in the ocean. I pick up shell fragments (Isle of Palms doesn’t seem to have a ton of complete shells). We walk and talk. We listen to the waves. We feel the breeze.  That last one is important because it can get really hot in Charleston in the summer. But with very few exceptions, a morning or evening walk on the beach feature

Fry Your Chickens Friday - LOHAG - Part Two

The Evolutionary LOHAG Last Friday's we talked LOHAG (Little Ol Hairy Audacious Goal). Specifically we talked about planned LOHAGs - the series of projects my wife and I worked on in 2019 when the Cleveland Browns convinced me to give up football. Today we talk about what I call the evolutionary LOHAG - or  The great walking LOHAG of 2020. Every year I take the week between Christmas and New Years and do a review of the prior year and the goals (BOHAGs frequently) for the upcoming year (more on the process later). Every year I have several physical goals. And every year I have the easy one (easy to write that is): Get at least 10,000 steps every day. Here's how it went: January was an easy month - because I was fueled by the New Year's Resolution. I went to the YMCA and walked on the track. When I traveled I walked through the airport. I fly Delta through Atlanta, Detroit or Minneapolis. All three of those airports have nice areas for walking. I put at least two hours buffe

Monday Stress Buster - Go for a walk with someone special

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I'm a big fan of step trackers for one reason: What gets measured gets accomplished.  I use the step tracker on my Apple watch. Beth uses a fitbit. In either case it keeps us focused on the daily "Holy Grail" of steps: 10,000. Recent evidence suggests that 7,000 steps will have the same benefits, but we are committed to the 10,000 step goal, so we stick to it. One thing we've learned: If we go for a two mile walk in the day, the goal is a lot easier. If we don't - it's nearly impossible (or it will mean a lot of marching in place in the house). We live on a dead end country road so we can go out for a two mile walk on the road at any point in the day (weather permitting). That means that the 10,000 step goal encourages us to take a walk. What follows from that is three benefits: 1. It gets us outside in the fresh air, and away from the computer. 2. It gets us somewhere around 40 minutes of low impact "aerobic" exercise. I hesitate to call it full blo

Fry Your Chickens Friday - Find a LOHAG - Part One

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Wait - what's a LOHAG? Last Friday's post talked about the benefits of a BOHAG (Big Ol Hairy Audacious Goal).  And while a BOHAG is one of the best ways I know to fry chickens, sometimes you need a quick win. That's why I invented (as far as I know anyway) the acronym LOHAG (Little Ol Hairy Audacious Goal). LOHAG in Action - the Year I gave up Sunday Afternoon Football: In September 2019 I sat down to watch my favorite team, the Cleveland Browns, take on the Tennessee Titans in the first game of the NFL season. The Browns had spent the better part of the prior two decades crushing my soul, regularly winning three to five games or fewer per season. And 2016 / 2017 were football futility like no other. In 2016 they won a single game. In 2017 they won NO games.  But 2018 had been a turnaround of sorts. In the final eight games they went 5-3. They had a new coach, young quarterback, a new star wide receiver and more.  As I sat down I knew this would be different. In prior years