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Walk away from worries

"The rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decreases anxiety and improves sleep," says nutrition-and-wellness expert Ann Kulze, MD. Aim for a brisk, half-hour walk every day.

Do less, enjoy more  

"We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event," says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. "Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more."  

Stick with your daily routine  

Prioritize your workouts, book club, etc., and don't try to squeeze in more holiday than you can handle, says Katherine Muller, PsyD, an assistant professor of psychology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City  

Go tech-free  

Constant cell phone buzzes and email alerts keep us in a perpetual fight-or-flight mode due to bursts of adrenaline. Not only is this exhausting, but it contributes to mounting stress levels, especially in women. What better time to turn your gadgets off than during a holiday get-together? Enjoy spending time with your family and friends without worry  

Turn up the tunes  

Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it's Jingle Bell Rock or the latest from Jay-Z. Research from the University of Maryland shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. That not only calms you down but is good for your heart, too.  

Fit in exercise  

It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're stressed out, but going for a run or hitting the gym can actually make you feel better. Research has found that workouts can boost your mood for up to 12 hours.  

Stay Positive  

Positive thoughts and thinking transfer to positive actions.   Look of the best and make  active appreciation part of your daily routine.  

You may want to consider starting a martial arts class this time of year.  

I know you may be thinking "What - something new this time of year?"     A true martial arts class is all about mind, body and spirit, according to Greg Silva, president of Black Belt Schools International.    "You get healthy exercise and flexibility training, a positive atmosphere and stress release."   Getting started now will be beneficial for your health, stress level as well as jump start  your healthy goals for 2017.

We are having beginner Krav Maga training at 7 pm Monday - Thursday.  These  sessions are designed to clear the mind of any negative anxiety and create a positive mindset. Each session will include typical resistance exercises, boxing and a combination of martial arts in order to allow you to get rid of any personal or work frustrations.

I posted a video of self defense by Master Ken on our Facebook page.  It was tongue in cheek about some bearded intruder in a red suit coming into homes on Christmas. Here are some really great tips for the holiday season! - Dana

Practice safety during holiday shopping.  Howard Mallen 

Holiday shopping can frazzle the brain. Shoppers are trying to remember gift lists while simultaneously calculating whether it's better to use a coupon or sign up for an in-store credit card. Personal safety at the mall and in the parking lot is the last thing on most people's minds, but it should truly be top of mind.  

Poorly lit parking garages, arms full of packages, keys buried in the bottom of overflowing purses, and other factors can make shoppers particularly easy targets for predators. To help you stay safe this holiday shopping season, consider the following list of personal safety tips.  

1. Stay aware of your surroundings by scanning your environment.  

No matter how busy you are, do not allow your mind to wander. It might seem important in the moment to be making a to-do list in your head, but if you're worrying about appetizers for tomorrow's holiday party, you might not notice someone following you to your vehicle.


2. Even if it means that you have to walk a bit farther, park in well-lit areas.

It is best to avoid shopping after sundown, but if you must do so, try to bring a friend or family member along with you. When you park, avoid parking next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car as visible to as many people as possible. Also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle.


3. Don't wear your bag or purse so that the strap crosses your body.   

Wearing a strap across your body makes you more connected to your bag. If someone tries to steal your purse, you will be pulled with the strap. You can become unbalanced and put into a vulnerable position, or you could end up in a physical altercation with the assailant. If your purse is draped on one shoulder, you can easily let go of it.


4. Dress casually and comfortably.

The mall during holiday shopping season is not the time to make a fashion statement. It is better to leave the high heels and flashy accessories at home. Jeans and sneakers will help you blend in, and if needed, enable you to make a quick getaway. Also avoid wearing large and expensive-looking jewelry that can draw additional attention to you.


5. Don't hesitate to ask a security guard to walk you to your car. 

If you are shopping at night, and the crowds at the mall have thinned out for the day, taking an extra step to stay safe is always a good idea. Or, plan ahead and pay the few extra dollars to valet park your car so you do not have to walk alone with arms full of bags.