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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
May 28, 2010
Memorial Day marks the official start of the summer season in most communities. How is it celebrated where you live? Is there a parade that you attend? A summer picnic or barbecue at a friend’s house? Do you host your family for a cookout? Are you looking forward to it? Even when having fun, there can be some stress involved. Planning for the stress along with the fun can help you get through the holiday weekend smokefree.
If you usually gather with friends, neighbors or family members for the holidays, what will you do differently this time? If some people at these gatherings are likely to smoke, how will you cope with any temptations that arise? If a certain “adorable” family member plucks your last nerve, how will you handle that in a healthy way? Think about the moments that may be stressful over the next five days and create a plan for dealing with them. Go to Module 5, Coping Strategies, and take the time to fill out a plan for the long weekend.
Be realistic about what you can do to relieve some stress. If you’re hosting a party, enlist the help of those who are invited or those who live with you. Assign tasks, ask others to bring some food or drinks and divide the labor of getting ready. You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to stress yourself out by striving for perfection.
Build in some time this weekend for relaxation. Just “be” for an hour or so. Allow yourself the indulgence of swinging in the hammock and looking at the sky, or starting a book, reading a magazine, or taking a nap. Unwinding is an important way to improve the way you cope with stress. Start by practicing deep breathing. Download the relaxation exercises, close your eyes and listen. Ahhh….
Summer is a great time to start enjoying locally grown fruits and vegetables to help you prevent some weight gain. What sorts of fresh foods can you incorporate into your daily diet this summer that will help you to avoid empty calories in processed snacks? What kinds of fresh foods are available now that aren’t available all year long? Try something new, or prepare a familiar fruit or vegetable in a new way to see if you like it. Is the grill fired up? Try cutting fruits and veggies in half and roasting them. Post your favorite recipes on the Message Boards.
So, this week try some of the following things:
- Develop a plan for the weekend, especially for the stressful times.
- Practice deep breathing and complete a couple of relaxation exercises.
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish.
- Try a new fruit or vegetable, or prepare a favorite in a new way.
Here’s to all of the heroes and sheroes that have given their lives to protect our freedom in the USA!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you’re in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put “HELP NOW” in the subject line of your post. If you’re looking to offer help, watch for those, “HELP NOW” posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies friends to offer some assistance as well.