Thursday, June 2, 2011

Are You Kidding? Paint My Toenails

Today, our goverment is releasing a new food chart. Yup, the old triangle one is gone. History. To read why, here is the url for the news release. Chart

It's all about staying healthy

This blog is for my women readers.(Yes. Men can read too.) Let’s talk about something we often don’t do for ourselves but really need to do for our mental health—pamper ourselves.

I don’t know about you but the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning until sometime in the evening I’m on the go, working, taking care of my family needs, preparing meals, doing laundry… The list is endless. And don’t forget the pets. They need attention too. Some days, I feel as if my feet will drop off at the ankles if I stop and propped them up. Let’s face it, women are caregivers and being a caregiver is stressful. Add extra duties (ie; taking care of aging parents or a love one, moving to a new house, remodeling) and you’re adding stress.

Recently, I read an article at Women’s Health ( ) which stated that some women need to be busy in order to feel alive, and I wondered if I wasn’t one of them. I mean I always need to be doing something. Even now, as I write this article, I’m multi-tasking.

Stress can lead to mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart beats, menstrual problems, and acne and other skin problems. So what can we do to relieve stress?

It’s all about attitude

There are some things you do not have control over. Don’t worry about them.
• You don’t always have to be right. Pick your fights. It’s not worth the stress to argue. Give in once in awhile or meet people halfway.
• Get organized. Write a to-do list. Figure out what’s most important to do and do those things first.
• Set limits. We only have so many hours in the day. Set limits for yourself and don’t be afraid to say NO to requests for your time and energy.

Relaxation doesn’t take a lot of time

• Take deep breaths. Taking a few deep breaths makes you breathe slower and helps your muscles relax.
• Stretching can also help relax your muscles and make you feel less tense.
• Having someone massage the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back can help you feel less tense.
• Take time to do something you want to do. We all have lots of things that we have to do. But often we don't take the time to do the things that we really want to do. You know that priority list above, but your want on that list too.

You have one body. Take care of it.

• Get enough sleep. Doing so helps you recover from the stresses of the day and helps you think better so that you can handle problems as they come up.
• Eat right. Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Caffeine or high-sugar snack jolts, wear off quickly. That is why they’re called jolts. You’ll wind up feeling more tired than you did before.
• Drink Lots of water. At least eight glasses a day.

• Get moving. Physical activity will not only help relax your tense muscles but improve your mood.
• Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, smoking, or overeating.

There is nothing better than a friend.

• Share your stress. Talking with friends or family members can help you feel better. They could help you see your problems in a new way and suggest solutions that you hadn't thought of.
• Get help from a professional if you need it.
• Help others. Volunteering in your community can help you feel better.

Long list, right? Don’t stress. Pick one, do it, get good at it and then add another. Deep breaths.

In two weeks, In The Presence Of Evil releases, and in four weeks I head to the RWA National conference in NY where I'll be speaking. I'm also nearing the end of my next book, and I'm in the process of starting a new project. You'll have to join my newsletter to see what that is. (Go to to join.) There's no stress in my life. LOL.

So, I'm getting organized, drinking more water, making sure I eat more vegetables and fruits, and eating smaller portions. I'm stretching and walking and I've called a good friend more than once and laughed. GRIN I think laughter should be on the list. Don't you?

Now tell me. What do you do when you're feeling the world on your shoulders?


  1. Ugh. Your post is so right in your timing, autumn. I have way too much to do. Especially lately with an upcoming move -to care for an aging parent. I have revisions on one book I'm trying to get through (and have been since Feb), revisions on my new sale coming up soon, helping daughter through a divorce... And that's just the tip of the iceberg that is my life! lol Thanks for the reminder. I was watching a NutriSystem infomercial yesterday with Marie Osmond, mainly because I was too lazy to get up and find the remote to change the channel. But she was talking about this same thing and how we spend so much time caring for our family that we neglect ourself. But are we taking the best care of our family if we don't take care of ourself in order to keep going for them? I thought that was a valid point.

  2. Have a great release day and enjoy speaking at RWA! I wish I could go.

  3. Yup, add me to the list. I'm also caring for an aging mother, whose partially disabled, and on top of everything else, she's become the straw that broke the camel's back. And I'm realizing exactly this--that I'm not doing enough to take care of ME, and my writing.

    Laughter is very important for me. If I don't laugh, I cry, and laughing can be just what i need to pick me up. But what do I do when I feel the world on my shoulders? Pick up a good book and ignore it. ;)

    Great post!!

  4. Hmmm... have a partial thought in there I didn't finish. lol

    "And my writing" should have "is suffering for it" attached to it. *insert blush*

    I also become very absent minded when I'm stressed. lol

  5. Autumn--you'd think at my age I'd know how to take care of myself and know how and when to relax. I do a fair job, but there are times I need to remember your wise advice. This is a very good post, pertinent to all of us, and I thank you! Celia

  6. Get out of my head! LOL Good list and one I know but need reminding. As someone said, I become absent minded when I'm stressed.

  7. Thanks Autumn, yes I too need to take care of myself. But where will I find the time. I haven't finished my blog tour to promote Rx in Russian and just learned that the next one, Osiris' Missing Part will be released soon. But my DH insists I should take a break. Since I can't seem to know how to do it, he just books a vacation to take me away from evrything.

    To be able to benefit from all the tips you give us, we have to condition our mind that it's OK to relax. Otherwise the vacation becomes a source of stress.

  8. Hi Autumn,
    Reading about your life makes mine seem calm in comparison. Sorta made me feel just a teensy weensy little bit envious....okay not really! I'm too lazy...
    After reading the blog, I guess being laid-back does have its benefits!!! lol

  9. Hey, Calisa. Welcome to my blog. You're life sounds as busy as mine. Sorry for the delay in answering. I thought Blogger was down again, and I had to run DH for his treatment.

    It's so easy to get caught up in the lives of all those we love. You hit it right on the nose though. The bridge wouldn't hold if the support system is down, so we do need to take of ourselves. One little thing can make a big difference.

    Thanks for the congrats. I hope you stop by again.


    Blogger is still playing with me. I don't want to play anymore. Grrr.

  10. Hi, Joanne. I don't take of mom and dad yet. Help them a lot, but I know the day is coming. Right now, I'm focused on getting DH well and directing the kids. Long story.

    A godd story helps take me away too, whether I'm writing it or reading. Hard to do with cukes on my eyes. LOL. I hope I made you laugh. Great suggestion. AJ

  11. I know, Celia. We did do health education in school, didn't we? We do read articles and watch those info commericals Celisa mentioned. We should know better.

    It's a beautiful day in NE PA. I think I'll take a walk and maybe read a bit before I pick my grandson up from school. There will be no rest until his mom comes home.

    Join me.


  12. Deep breaths, Caroline, then laugh out loud. Repeat. Repeat. This does work.

    I'm doing it right now between posts--because of Blogger. HA HA HA

    (((HUGS)) AJ

  13. At times... Okay, many times a day, I wish I was lay back like you , Mimi. Any suggestions on achieving this dream? AJ

  14. Great blog. Great advice. Best wishes on all the wonderful, yet stress producing, events headed your way.

    Just got home froma facial - now I've got to get to work!

    best wishes,

  15. My stress reliever is the beach. Love having my toes in the sand! And a good book on my Nook! Great post, Autum.

  16. Lynne, I'm jealous. I just got home from helping mom and dad sign up for new health sup insurance. FUN. I think I'll treat myself to a brownie. It's okay to treat now and then.

    Thanks for stopping by, lady.


  17. Oh, Lilly, I love your stress reliever. I'm in the mountains and so love the beach, but DH doesn't sigh. Send me some sand. AJ

  18. Hi Autumn - you make some great points here. Reading is my solace but sometimes I wonder whether it's pure escapism and I should relax more actively - if that makes sense!

  19. Hi, Leigh. Great to see you again. What you said makes perfect sense. Sometimes sitting in your favorite spot and staring into space, letting your mind blank is the best. I think I'll go watch a cloud drift across the beauitful blue sky we have above us today.

    See what you did? You made me stop multi-tasking and relax. Thanks, hon.