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Losing the Lazy Days of Summer

Instead of lamenting the loss of the lazy days of summer, many parents anxiously await the first day of school as their chance to get back to their routines.  But many people, especially women, go overboard, overcommitting themselves both professionally and personally, leaving them tired, overwhelmed and even resentful.

Overcommitment can lead to feelings of helplessness and anxiety. It can also impact your health in various ways. The most obvious examples are small, but annoying: being overcommitted can affect everything from your eating and sleeping patterns to your bowel habits, causing constipation!

To help women stick to a routine for health living, I advise

  • Daily exercise. Take daily walks, whatever the weather (yes, indoors at the mall counts!). Even mild to moderate exercise helps to boost serotonin levels and can give you a mental lift.
  • Don't skip meals. Experts agree that eating three meals and one to two small snacks a day is ideal for helping to maintain energy levels and healthy weight.
  • Stay well hydrated. Drink lots of water to keep from becoming dehydrated, particularly after exercising, but also at regular intervals throughout the day, especially in warmer climates.
  • Don't ignore common health problems like constipation.  If necessary, use a gentle, stimulant laxative (such as Dulcolax®) to help nature take its course from time to time.
  • Don't suffer in silence. Talk with friends and family--or a professional if necessary--to help relieve your stress. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • It's OK to say NO to overcommitments or unnecessary demand on your time and energy. This may take practice! 

Created: 8/1/2005  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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