August News Brief

August is here and with it, (finally) the monsoon rains for our mountain hometown. After July’s record-breaking hot spell, this rain is so welcome. Our morning skies are bright blue with cool temps; afternoons filled with the great gift of rain. Any rain for the desert is welcome, but this year it was as if we were all holding our breath through June and July, waiting for that gift. Of course, with the gift of the monsoon comes the danger of flash floods. Many communities have experienced catastrophic flooding this summer. There are several safety tips about flash flood dangers to be mindful of no matter where you live. Remember the phrase, “turn around, don’t drown” and be prepared for rising waters at home and while traveling.

Did you know that August is National Wellness Month? Since I started writing the ABC’s for Living Well, I think about wellness a lot. Because maintaining wellness can sometimes feel like work, I’m ready to celebrate National Relaxation Day on August 15th! This holiday was dreamed up in 1985 by nine-year-old Sean Moeller. He clearly recognized the importance of rest and relaxation. See a few notes below about ways you can get on board with wellness and relaxation during the month of August and always!

On a personal note, Robert and I are celebrating 33 years together and 30 years of marriage this August. What a sweet milestone for us. I’m so grateful for my wonderful partner in life and love. The photo is from our wedding day in 1993. Thanks to the FS community and all news brief readers for being part of our journey. Hope these end-of-summer days are full of love, relaxation, and joy for you and yours.

Now for the News:

  • This Month’s Special Day:   is August 15th National Relaxation Day encouraging us to “not work or clean” but rather to just relax! This day goes hand in hand with  National Wellness Month. Go ahead and give relaxation a try. You will be glad you did.
  • Why Relax? There are so many health benefits to relaxing! A calm relaxed state helps to lower blood pressure, stabilize heart rate and respiration, reduce pain and unwanted emotional states such as anger or fear, and helps to increase the ability to focus attention and be present.
  • How to Relax? A few recommendations include eating mindfully, walking in nature, contemplative reading, writing, painting, or drawing, napping, meditation, or simply letting your mind and eyes wander can be relaxing. Listen to soothing music or white noise. Enjoy a massage or an entire spa day. Talk with a friend. Schedule time in your day to just “be”. Take a vacation!
  • What blocks relaxation?  Excessive use of caffeine (jitters) or alcohol (hangover),  uncomfortable or combative family or friend dynamics, chronic pain, or illness, getting stuck in traffic, overwork, challenging caregiving duties and responsibilities, too much screen time (yup, turn your device off immediately after reading this!)
  • Feeling unable to relax? Sometimes work or caregiving responsibilities can make relaxation seem improbable or even impossible. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and just breathe for a total of one whole minute. This very short exercise can provide a moment of relaxation, which is better than none! Consider delegating some of your tasks. Ask for assistance. Engage the help of a counselor or therapist to dig into the underlying reasons for the inability to relax.

May all beings be safe, well, happy, and content.

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