Have a healthy, happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sunday is Easter, a joyful time for Christians everywhere and a time when many families and friends get together to enjoy a bountiful feast. Holidays can be wonderful, but they can bring added stress and excesses.

*Reduce your stress.

Hosting the Easter dinner, visiting with family and friends, and having house guests can lead to upsets if you have unrealistic expectations of yourself or others. Go with the flow and keep things in perspective. So what if a cup gets spilled, the dog barfs, the cousins gossip, or the pie crust is burned. Sure it may not be perfect, but in the big scheme of things does it really matter?

*Manage your expectations.

The quest for perfection is guaranteed to end in frustration and disillusionment, because little and perhaps nothing will measure up.

*Not every meal has to be elaborate and the house doesn't have to be show-home spotless.

After a holiday feast, it's great if all the grown kids in the family head for the kitchen and do the clean-up while visiting and catching up, creating fond memories of such special times. Whether you are hosting guests and making the dinner, or you are traveling to be with others, make sure you plan time for yourself to relax.

*Get some exercise.

How about a walk or bike ride while the ham bakes or roasts? What better time to get outside than in spring when the trees are budding, the air is crisp, the birds are singing, and when you return home, the house will welcome you with rich aromas! Exercise is known to reduce stress levels, increase your energy, and improve sleep and digestion. After a plentiful dinner it will help burn off any additional calories you've consumed.

*Count your blessings

Strong positive emotions induce physical and emotional responses that are thought by many to have significant health benefits. At your Easter dinner, take the opportunity to go around the table and have each person share what they are thankful for.

*Have a hug, give a hug

Hugs are good for your heart. Human contact through hugs lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, which cuts the risk of heart disease.

Now, go have one healthy and happy Easter Holiday!