Safety: Women Living Alone

By the time women reach the age of fifty-five, 46 percent live alone in the United States. Thirty-five million women are the head of their households. At least eighteen million women in the United States live alone. An additional twelve million women are single mothers. Uncounted other women head households while their husbands are away.

PHOTO BY COTTONBRO  

I am a woman who lived alone for only four years of my life and during that time, I encountered numerous incidents that left me bewildered, unsure and afraid. And even though I had five brothers they could not protect me while I was trying to grow-up and live away from home…alone.

       I have been married for over twenty years now and sometimes I find myself alone even more. I travel on a regular basis to book signings, workshops, seminars, and I often stay at hotels and in strange cities.

      I am compelled to write this book because of several reasons: One, my mother at the age of sixty-three was assaulted and raped in her home as she lies in her bed. Two, one of my sorority sisters, Jacqueline Patrick was assaulted, stabbed, and murdered in her home. Three, I have two daughters that have now moved in their own apartments and are trying to live a happy and safe life alone, therefore I am urged to write this book for personal and practical reasons. Most of the incidents in this book were inflicted by people that the victims knew. As a matter of fact, the people that assaulted my mother and my friend were their neighbors.

      There is a major concern for women to protect themselves. Burying your head in the sand and hoping that something will not happen to you is not the intelligent way to prepare for your safety. If crime has not happened to you, then it probably has happened to someone you know: a friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker. Rape, robbery, and assault, in the last ten years have doubled. The President has named the war against crime the nation’s priority.

      Unfortunately, women are not given a large arsenal to fight with. More women than ever are buying guns, but that haven’t slowed down the crime rate. Weapon toting Americans even think that crime has increased since doing so. Personal safety classes are multiplying, and more parents are enrolling their children in self-defense classes than ever before. Most people obtain their safety from the information given on talk shows, women’s magazines, and office gossip.

      There is a great deal of women who are alone and are not counted when their husbands are away. Salesmen, military men, night shift workers, church mission executives, entertainers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, taxi drivers, athletes, pilots, politicians, truck drivers, incarcerated, police officers, and corporate executives. Then there are the wives of loner’s men who are physically there but are

SAFETY  

(continued from page 25 – WOMEN WHO LIVE ALONE)

emotionally and socially home alone. The lives of wives alone are much like that of women who are widowed, married, and divorced with an additional twist: invisibility. Few women realize just how much they are alone.

      For Women Who Live Alone will provide simple, sound, and well-founded information and advice about personal safety. I am often asked by women what they should do if stranded, how they can best educate themselves while living alone, at home or away from home? How do I they handle harassment, what should they do if faced with an armed attacker? In this book you will find answers to these questions and much more.

      The aim of this book is to help women who live or spend a great deal of time alone: It will help women cope with difficulties, conquer frustrations, and celebrate being alone. I suggests ways a woman who lives alone single or married can make confident decisions, overcome loneliness, avoid emotional traps, build a family team, deal with medical emergencies, stay safe at all times, manage money wisely, make minor house and car repairs and build various networks of support. Being alone does not mean you have to settle for being lonely.

      Thinking smarter and taking precaution will give other a wider range of safety and freedom in life. This book will help prepare women who live alone, and it will open the eyes of those who someday plan to live alone. It will also help women thrive as they move forward in life and it will give them answers to the many questions they have had for a long time. Single, widowed, divorced, or married women who at home alone have many similar concerns:

1.  Isolation. Nobody is there in times of crisis. Equally, nobody is round to share little joys and understand special moments. This isolation is intensified for married women alone at home. While single, divorce or widow women may seek one another out, married women are alone erratically and hate to bother other women.

2.   Inconvenience.  When you are alone you might feel that the solitary life you lead without your husband is very inconvenient. You might feel that nobody lends a hand, or gets the door for you, or holds up the other end, or checks out the strange noises you hear at night, or helps with the children, or answers the phone when your hands are full, or gets the mail or whatever.

3.   Indecision. You probably hate all the decision you have to make on your own now. Since our society trains us that financial matters and home/auto maintenance are men’s business, women alone must decide how to invest money, what to repair and what to replace. You have to decide when a child is ill enough to go to the doctor, secure the home, make repairs, and whom to call in an emergency.

4.   Lack of respect. Decision-making is complicated by lack of respect. On a day-to-day basis single woman say they deal with a world geared toward couples and families.

5.   Loneliness. Loneliness is one of the hardest parts about being alone. Mothers at home with preschoolers suffer just as much as women with no children. With widows there are no sides to take. With divorced friends, people think they must choose sides of the use to be couples.6.         Burnout. Almost every woman alone comes to a frightening point where she feels overwhelmed by having primary responsibility for her financial, social, and domestic life. This is very hard on women who have envisioned a future shared with a strong mate. Among women I interviewed, widows seemed to have less burnout than other women did. However, any woman home alone must do all the cooking, cleaning, repairs, driving, and childcare and often hold down a job as well. No wonder so many women admit “I’m just worn out.”

Is Hugging Outdated?

Man Embracing Her Lovely WifeHugging is a physical acknowledgment of the presence of another with the intention of expressing affection. Sometimes hugging is meant to also express reunion after separation and in that case, it represents “affection beyond words.” Over the years though, hugging has assumed many uncomfortable forms, some of which I mention below to indicate how complex the phenomenon can be. Also, for each hug there is a picture to more clearly illustrate the hug that I am referring to. Funny enough, when you look up hugs on “Google images”, there are an extraordinary number of hugs from political figures.

PHOTO BY TAMMY MOSLEY  

(1) The Sideways Hug: This hug is commonly seen when two (often heterosexual) men move toward each other to hug. As they approach each other, the thought of their bodies colliding becomes a higher priority than the politeness of the hug, and the sideways hug is the end-result. Both people feel slightly uncomfortable, but the completion of the usually short hug leaves both people feeling very relieved.

(2) The Back Pat: This hug signifies the confusion that results when the bodies of two people meet, but there is no idea what to do after this. The back pat becomes the metronome action behind the silence, counting the beats until the music of the speaking begins again. If you are someone who likes to hug, the back pat can be a total disappointment as it sometimes is curiously dismissive. It may inadvertently convey “yes, yes” or “that’s okay” when you have no experience that warrants that response.

(3) The Full-On Hug: This hug has many complex scenarios. It is best performed unselfconsciously without much thought. This ideal is often thwarted if one of the people has breasts, or if the crotch becomes inadvertently part of the hug. Then, the notion of un-self-consciousness usually goes out the window. This hug is also best executed with pleasurable sounds (ahhhh! Being an example), but the sounds need to be congruent to the situation (hmmm! For example, does not work in the breast or crotch situation).

(4) The “Pleased to Meet You Belly Button” (PYMBB) hug: You know from afar, that when someone is 6’3″ and over, and if you are an average height, that you will likely encounter some strange part of their bodies in the course of the intended hug. Your lips may land on their neck, or in more extreme cases, their chest or belly button. The height difference makes for significant discomfort, so this is one of the fastest hugs out there. Imagine if you lingered on at someone’s neck or belly button!

(5) The Shoulder Hug: This hug starts with an appraisal of the other person’s face (“Look at you”) but never quite makes it to the full hug stage. It may transition to a shoulder pat with one hand accompanied by a smile, but a definitive indication that there will be no point in the communication outside of eye contact.

(6) The Tearful Hug: When this hug is awkward, it is usually because your tears and nasal secretions are covering the clothes of another person. This should be avoided at all costs. Tearful hugs only really work in real intimacy, and even then, people often have to use some effort to overlook the slimy mess on their neck or clothes.

(7) The Elbow Hug: This hug is best executed with an approaching smile, back arched, and then hands to the other person’s elbows. It is also well suited to the “look at you” exclamation, but it often involves two people who have a mutual understanding that they do not want to wrinkle each other’s clothes. Other stilted gestures can accompany this-such as a cheek squeeze, or a “you look great!” exclamation.

Get A Life of Your Own

It’s about 6:00 p.m. on Friday and you realize you just put in another fifty-hour workweek. You grab a bottle of wine on your way home, open the door and head straight for the couch. You grab the remote control in one hand and your junk mail in the other. While shuffling through the mail you suddenly notice a letter from him. You wonder what he’s sent and why. After all you’ve dated for more than a year and you’ve never received a letter from him

You tear the letter open and began to frantically read it. The words, “It’s over, I’ve found someone else,” causes your heart to skip a beat and your legs begin to feel like jelly. You tell yourself, “This couldn’t be true.” But it is. It feels like an explosion has went off in your brain, so it has to be true. You’ve never felt like this before.

It’s not like him to tell you something of this magnitude in a letter. You’ve always been able to discuss problems or bad news face to face.  You sit back down and you realize the person you’ve invested all your time, energy, and emotions into has just ended your relationship. This was the relationship you hoped would last forever. After you think for a moment and try to get over the initial shock, you check your call notes to see if there are any messages telling you to disregard the letter. Surely there has to be something about reconsidering or at least something he said to soften the blow. But there’s nothing.  You feel hurt, rejected and alone.

       Several weeks pass, and for some strange reason things aren’t getting any better and you don’t feel any better. In fact, you still feel emotionally torn, just like you did the day you got the letter.  As you try to work through the pain, you reminisce about your relationship repeatedly. You begin to talk to yourself, and then you ask, “What happened?”  “What did I do?”  “Why didn’t I see it coming?”  “Why did it have to happen this way?”

       Finally, the truth begins to emerge, and you realize why your relationship with this person fizzled: you simply did not have your own life. This person was your life.  Your entire lifestyle was wrapped up in someone else. You see now – that all the time you were dating, your life was on hold. Any free time you had was spent with him. Your career, interests, friends, and even your relationship with God was placed on hold. Now that your relationship has ended you have nothing to sustain you. Without your sweetheart you have no life.

Sadly, I have witnessed far too many scenarios like this one. Thousands of people are trapped in their relationships that should have never begun in the first place. Thousands of women are in relationships where they are trying to get to know the man, before they know about  themselves. They simply ignored the number one rule: Get a life!

One of the most important things a person can learn from being dumped is — you have to always maintain a separate life in your relationships. A real life so to speak! When you invest all of your energy and self-worth in trying to get and keep a mate or simply have a relationship where everything you do and say is in reference to the relationship – you don’t have a life.

Before you met your mate, plenty was probably happening in your life. For most women it usually is. Once you got to know him better did he became your biggest priority? Have you given up all the things you enjoyed doing because you’re doing so much for your mate?  Do you find yourself waiting by the telephone? Has your life really become your partner’s life?  Once a person gets into a heavy relationship, they are not only consumed they also get caught up in their partner’s agenda. You even forget your friends and family until you’re caught on the short end of the relationship and your partner decides to move on. This doesn’t have to happen to you. You can show your love and still have a life of your own while you do it. Before you go out again or say, “I do,” please follow these simple steps.  They detail why you should keep your agenda as full as possible when a new person enters your life.

1.       Become More Interesting. A person will become immediately attracted to you if you carry yourself in a more interesting way. Maintain a wide laugh and a deep smile. Anyone you’re interested in you will soon recognize after going out with you a few times whether your life is good or bad. If you only know things about the neighborhood you live in he’ll know you’re not well versed in going to exciting places. If you eat at the little restaurant down the street all the time your date will think you lack skills in different foods or restaurants.  If you appear to be boring or unknowing, he’ll try other things to remain excited, maybe even other dates. 

2.       Don’t Make Yourself Too Available. Most people love a challenge, even though they won’t admit it openly.  When you aren’t so accessible it makes him want you more. When you receive a call to go on a date, be sure to let your date know that you’ll have to check your calendar. Mutter not so quietly… dinner with Carla, meeting with Bobbie, workout with Alberta, and drinks with Georgia.  Be incredibly sweet all the while you’re speaking to him.  Remember, the trick is to always cordially act as if you want to go out again, but you just don’t know when you can fit it in your schedule. We all want to believe that we matter. So being busy and still making your date feel needed is a great way not to appear anxious. It’s man’s nature to desire those things and people who aren’t so available.  It’s a turn on for him.  If you hold back a little — (a lot easier to do when you have a full life) he will immediately become more attracted to you. “Don’t just do your date, do other things too.”

3.       Show Your Independence. Independence is great for romance. The busier you are, the better it is for the both of you. When you show your independence, you’re also able to show that you can really take care of yourself.  No one wants to be involved with a whiner or insecure person, and you don’t want to feel like you’re at the bottom of his list. Don’t insist on filling up all his time – it’s a turn-off.  Putting to many demands on his time will turn you into a nervous wreck and neither of you will feel god about being in the relationship. Having your own life makes you less resentful of his life. Besides, your independence won’t allow you to worry about the amount of time he spends with you.  What a relief to know that you won’t make a big deal out of it. By taking a break each of you will respect the times that space is needed from one another.  In a healthy relationship, it’s okay for a couple to have mutual needs that they can fulfill together, but it’s always smart to have separate needs. Here’s a simple quiz designed to help you become more aware and recognize if you are headed for problems in the relationship.  Circle your answer

1.      Do you often cancel previous plans because he said he would call you?

         Yes                            NO

2.      Do you rush off the phone just because he’s supposed to call?

         Yes                            NO

3.      Do you go on diets because he likes women more fit and trim than you?

         Yes                            NO

4.      Do you avoid your friends because he says he doesn’t like them?

         Yes                            NO

5.    Do you miss doing things with your friends because you’re missing out on doing something with him?

         Yes                            NO

6.      Do you wear only the clothes that he says he likes to see you in?

         Yes                            NO

7.      Do you spend the entire weekend at home just because he’s out of town?

         Yes                            NO

8.      Do you get rid of your favorite pet just because he doesn’t like the way it looks?

         Yes                            NO

9.      Does he decide he’s going to relocate to a better paying job in another state and when he asks you to come along you start packing right away and hope to find a job when you get there?

    Yes                             NO

10.    Have you ever caught him having an affair and you blame the person you caught him with?

         Yes                            NO

If you feel that your answer should be yes to these questions then you have unwisely placed yourself at your mate’s beck and call by having your life revolve around his life. Start making a change today! Begin self-appreciation by setting your own individual goals. Find out more about yourself and what you want out of life apart from your partner. Pursue your own interests. Don’t erode your self-esteem by giving your power away. Your partner may not even be asking you to do this, but when you think and do things only as a couple you are becoming the dependent party in the relationship. Your mate will value, respect and appreciate you more if you continue to have a life…  Your Own Life!

Oklahoma: Back To Nature

A friend and I decided to get some much-needed time away from Dallas Metropolis, so we planned a short overnight trip to Oklahoma . We enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities so I looked for a place that would accommodate all of our needs within a short trip. I was looking for a place that offered hiking, overnight camping, and rock climbing. I found much to my happiness, that the Wichita National Wildlife Refuge was only about three hours north of Dallas . According to the internet it had many outdoor amenities. With the info provided it seemed like a nice, new quick place to visit.
     We left early Sunday morning, way before the sun had even thought about coming up. If you’ve ever driven west and north Texas it’s pretty darn flat. As a matter of fact, you’ll know when you’ve left Texas because you’ll start to see the landscape change. Two and a half hours into our trip the sun yawned and said good morning and off in the distance we saw the beginnings of what looked like a mountain. I was born and raised in the Rockies and the closer we got there was hills, very different hills, but they were hills. Boulders the size of houses all piled together in a neat way. We arrived at the visitor center a few minutes before eight so I took my camera out and, WOW, I began shooting the wild Bison roaming the nearby pasture.
     An  elderly grey bearded man that resembled Gandalf the grey from Lord of The Rings opened the doors promptly at eight and greeted us with a smile as he dumped the trash and made us laugh the whole time with his charming humor. He had a wealth of knowledge of the refuge and made it a point to say, “Were not a park, were a refuge!” with a great big smile. He gave us a tour of the park through actual pictures and directed us to where we wanted to go. He had extensive knowledge of the refuge because he had worked there for fifteen years. He was an amazing guy. We set out with all our maps and literature, and talked about how he was such a great fixture of the refuge.
     We drove to where we decided we wanted to camp, next to a small lake, right off the water, and close to a restroom so we wouldn’t have to hike double time if need be. I backed the truck into the space, and we stepped off the truck and low and behold our second brush with nature, two deer’s laying in the underbrush and fallen leaves! I reached for the camera and again began shooting. Apparently because it’s a refuge and you cannot harm them their pretty friendly, I was able to get within fifteen or twenty feet without them moving. Then from the brush out pop a couple of raccoons! So many people never get to see wildlife in their natural setting and as if Dr.

     About half past nine we adorned our forty-pound hiking packs complete with rock climbing gear and set off for the day. Up, down, around, over, under, we went on this trail that would put us at the base of the two-thousand-foot boulder hill we were attempting that day. A small clear pond at the base with slowly moving clear water welcomed us as we cleared the trees and bushes. Then we looked up, way up, from where we were standing it appeared to be no problem. We picked a path up that did not appear as if it had ever been chosen before, or at least this year and started ascending the rock face. We climbed for about an hour and a half, when that sun was straight over our heads the temperature was already 110 degrees in the shade. We found some shade and took a break just long enough to catch a bit of a breeze. We were both carrying about six liters of water and by that time I was halfway through my water. So, we decided to drop the packs and gear and climb the rest with no ropes just harnesses and two one-liter bottles of water. We found the freedom of not having the packs hurried us along and we reached the summit much faster and happier. The sun was trying to turn us to raisins, so we took a few pictures and double timed it back down. A few other climbers and hikers enjoyed the sun and trails that Sunday afternoon in July, not many, because of the heat. All in all, it was great to see all the wildlife and great to be able to see things that many wont and most of all being able to get in touch with nature. I can’t wait to go back in October!

Global One History

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To My Readers …

I WANT TO THANK AND ACKNOWLEDGE my supportive readers for enjoying and indulging in Global One Magazine. I cannot believe it’s been nearly a year.  I hope the magazine has brought about a sense of peace, joy, and a series of beautiful journey’s, even if only a few minutes. Indulging in cozy places and things that bring calmness is the objective of every month’s issue. Finding your favorite place to settle at home can be included and can offer a few magical and peaceful moments in time.

Ever have one of those days where you need a little more inspiration than normal. Have you ever felt like you are feeling more stuck than unstuck?  Do you sometimes feel more in over your head than your head is above water? Sometimes it’s not even the task itself that is overwhelming, it’s just the thought of getting started that makes you want to crawl back into bed and sleep until tomorrow. Although I think it’s okay to have a day where you “just can’t” – sometimes all you really need is a tiny push in the right direction. Finding a space or a place that you can unwind is key; and Lord knows if there’s one thing, we all need from time to time is a place to escape and relax.

Unfortunately for many of us finding a good place to escape means escaping mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or even socially. Maybe you indulge in small local get-a-way’s. Maybe you enjoy listening to music in a cozy place or while on a quiet drive. Then maybe someone else you know enjoys redecorating their home or meditating as a way to relax. Whatever kind of escape you choose to indulge in, it’s important to nurture your mind, body, and spirit by giving yourself an outlet that’s outside of the norm or a simple break from the normal routine. For me right now it’s yoga and meditating in a quiet and undisturbed environment. It’s how I find my version of balance and peacefulness.

Whether you’re facing a full week of days in the office, an at-home organizing project, or running errands that you’ve been putting off, here are some fruitful yet creative ways to stay inspired, motivated, and productive.

For this issue, we wanted to put together an arsenal of photos, stories, methods, and tools that can help you discover your very own escape. I love that you can find joy and peace in something as simple as a clean home, a cozy room, a taste of good food, a soothing drive along a winding quiet road, or closing yourself in to regroup and recharge so that you will like your life.    As always, I send you support for peace within. Keep your head to the sky and move forward. Enjoy your life.

With love and gratitude, Ella

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Children and Time Management

Most parents want their children to know essential habits like managing money, work habits, how to learn and study, communication skills and correct hygiene. But, have you considered helping them manage their time better? To be fair, that’s probably something most of us haven’t thought about. You might ask yourself how can you teach your kids basic time-management skills?  Here are ten ideas that will stick throughout life. The sooner, the better.

 Choose routines and stick to it.

Marlow Patterson  

“Regular schedules provide the day with a structure that orders a young child’s world. Predictability can be tiresome for adults. Children thrive on repetition and routine.” In fact, from the first days of life, schedules are formed. “Babies, especially, need regular sleep and meal programs and even routines leading up to those activities. As your children get older, help them establish a daily routine. Why? It lets them know “what is going to happen and who is going to be there. It allows them to think and feel more independently and feel more safe and secure. “A disrupted routine can set a child off and cause them to feel insecure and irritable.” In addition to some much-needed structure, this can help them become more accountable. It also gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with them and start setting simple time goals

would be:

  • A morning routine, like eating breakfast and getting ready for school.
  • An after-school routine, such as chores and homework.
  • An evening routine that could include dinner, brushing their teeth and reading before bed.

For younger children, you may need to give them a little more assistance by creating charts with them or using timers and providing rewards. For older children, most of these goals will become a habit. If your child has a phone, they could use calendar apps like First-Then Visual Schedule, myHomework App, or Remember the Milk.

Have them make a calendar. Whether if it’s a DIY, old paper calendar, or an app get them involved in the calendar creating process. To prevent any confusion, use color-coding so that everyone has their own color for their own schedule. Most importantly, keep this in a location that’s easy to access and review. Have your kids construct their own individual calendars? Because this is their own personal  calendar, it can be more in-depth than the family calendar. The child can help determine what activities should be added and those that can be left off.

Set priorities. “Its essential kids learn to differentiate between ‘have-tos’ and ‘want-tos’ and learn to prioritize and self-monitor Use the rock, pebble, and water analogy, where students’ duties are represented by the rocks and pebbles. The rocks signify their most essential tasks, like school and sleep. The pebbles represent extracurricular commitments. The water stands in for want-to-dos, such as hanging out with friends. “The rocks go in first because they are things you have to

do

TIME MANAGEMENT  

whether you like it or not. Next, comes the pebbles. But there’s still some room in the jar, so we pour water until our jar — and the day is full.”

Help them measure time.

“In order to make a realistic schedule, you need a good sense of how long things take. Use chars that breaks the afternoon and evening hours into 15-minute intervals. Each time slot is followed by three columns: what kids plans to do. Reassessing how they’re spending their time gives them the chance to adjust their schedule accordingly.

Make it fun. Make it fun like a game Explore the Timex Time Machines app. In a partnership with Scholastic, there are interactive games, lesson plans and activities to teach children in Grades 1 through 3 core time-telling concepts. There are also DIY activities you can do together as a family.

PHOTO BY NEVILLE CROWELL  

Do not be a helicopter parent. Obviously, you want to protect and help your children as much as possible. At the same time, you should also give them a chance to spread their wings. Instead of telling them how to handle this situation, let them voice their concerns and develop solutions to this problem. When they’re older, let them create their own routine, and let them be flexible with their schedules so that they have free time. Your role, then, would be to coach and reward them as opposed to dictating every minute of their time.

Don’t over-schedule your kids.

Children’s Time Management  

What happens when you overcommit and pack your calendar too tightly? You probably feel like you’re always on the go. More troublesome, you may feel like you’re always behind. And, you don’t have the wiggle room to address the unexpected. It’s the same thing with kids. They also require downtime for solo play or to wind down at the end of

Designate a study zone. If you’ve ever worked from home, then you know how important it is to have a dedicated workspace. I’d even go as far as to say that this should be management. The reason? It lets you block out distractions like the TV or noisy family members, and it helps you distinguish between your work and personal lives. For instance, you can show them organizing systems such as paper flow (a tried and tested system to handle paper), and mise-en-place (a tried and tested “everything in its place” cooking system).

Be a role model. Finally, the best way to help your kids get a better grasp of time management is to set a good example. As psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore explains, “Good modeling doesn’t guarantee that children will do what we want them to do, but telling children ‘do as I say, not as I do’ definitely won’t work.” You’ll want to keep your own goals under control, meaning that if you’ve been emphasizing the importance of a schedule, and you’re failing at time management, they’ll pick-up on this inauthenticity.

Simple Ways To Destress

What’s your stress “tell?” For some, a quickened heart rate or a slight feeling of queasiness is enough to let them know they’re getting anxious or overwhelmed. But just as a slight from your boss or bad news from a family member can get your stress hormones pumping and your blood pressure rising quickly, you have the power to reset almost instantly.

When we’re stressed, hormones like cortisol flood our systems, producing the “fight or flight response” in which our heart rate goes up, we breathe more heavily (requiring more oxygen) and our blood vessels constrict. While in the pre-civilization world, the increased blood flow to our heart and muscles helped us escape from predators and dangerous situations, we find ourselves in a very different position now. Our bodies can’t tell the difference between an approaching grizzly bear and a ticked off spouse or a particularly epic traffic jam, so our stress response is triggered when there’s no imminent danger. Instead of helping us to escape, this can contribute to chronic conditions like hypertension and headaches, as well as mental health concerns like depression and anxiety disorders. What’s more, stress can make other conditions — like asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and insomnia — worse.

Identity your stress triggers. First things first, what exactly stresses you out? Do you know exactly what triggers this reaction? How do you react to it? When you have a few answers, look for possible solutions. While you’re not going to be able to eliminate every stress trigger in your life, you can at least remove the ones that you have influence over.

Breathe deeply.  Any yogi knows that the breath — known as pranayama or “life force” — plays an important role in nourishing the body. And medical researchers agree.  “Breathing exercises can help you relax, because they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed

Take a 10-minute walk.  Exercise is one of the best stress relievers out there. But not everyone will take the time or have the motivation to commit to a strict workout regimen.  Could you squeeze in a 10-minute walk either first thing in the morning, during a lunch break, or when we get home from work? A short walk clears our heads and boost endorphins, which in turn reduces stress hormones.

Laugh.  Since we all have different senses of humor, think about something that puts a smile on your face. Is it an old SNL sketch, viral video of a dog chasing its tail, or reminiscing about that time your best friends fell down the stairs? Whatever it is, keep it on hand so it’s easily accessible when you need a good laugh.

Get A Good Night Sleep

You are not doomed to toss and turn every night. Here is better sleep, from setting a sleep schedule to including physical activity in your daily routine.

Think about all the factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep — from work stress and family responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illnesses. It’s no wonder that quality sleep is sometimes elusive. While you might not be able to control the factors that interfere with your sleep, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep.

Start with these simple tips.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule – Set aside no more than eight hours for sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Try to limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you don’t fall asleep within about 20 minutes, leave your bedroom and do something relaxing. Read or listen to soothing music. Go back to bed when you’re tired. Repeat as needed.

2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink – Don’t go to bed hungry or stuffed. In particular, avoid heavy or large meals within a couple of hours of bedtime. Your discomfort might keep you up. Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol deserve caution, too. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.

3. Create a restful environment – Create a room that’s ideal for sleeping. Often, this means cool, dark and quiet. Exposure to light might make it more challenging to fall asleep. Avoid prolonged use of light-emitting screens just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs. Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

4. Limit daytime naps – Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you choose to nap, limit yourself to up to 30 minutes and avoid doing so late in the day. If you work nights, however, you might need to nap late in the day before work to help make up your sleep debt.

5. Include physical activity in your daily routine – Regular physical activity can promote better sleep. Avoid being active too close to bedtime. Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.

6. Manage worries – Try to resolve your worries or concerns before bedtime. Jot down what’s on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow. Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety.