Inability to manage stress is killing you

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Stressed woman
Stressed woman

A very disturbing message in last week's WSJ noted that all women's longevity is stagnating in the U.S. and white women's longevity is actually declining.  We are the only developed country with this type of trend. France, Germany, UK, Canada, and others are experiencing declines of mortality rates in the 45-54 age group.  In the US we are on the opposite trend and women's mortality rates  have been on the rise since the year 2000.  Even more disturbing are the top causes of death--drug and alcohol overdose, suicide, and chronic liver disease.  WSJ: Rising Death Rate

Mortality rates
Mortality rates

The causes are believed to be related to people reaching midlife short of reaching monetary goals -many are the first to make less than their parents did.  There are increasingly reported mental-health problems and difficulties dealing with daily life. One in three people age 45-54 reported chronic pain and the practice of prescribing highly addictive Opioids to help patients deal with the pain continues to rise.  87 Americans die each day from overdose--a rate that has quadrupled since 1999, according to the CDC.

Is the picture bleak enough for you yet?  It certainly hit me between the eyes.  This is MY age group  These are MY peers and they are dying at rapidly increasing rates.  What can we do to reverse this trend?

I have one word for you Self-Care.  

"I must care for myself before I can care for others"

We women are notorious for taking care of everyone else first and subordinating our own needs.  When we do this consistently, day after day, week after week, year after year, it builds into unhealthy habits, bodies, and minds.  Not prioritizing you could cause you to get that dreaded wake-up call--the one where you learn that your physical or mental health are in crisis.  What if some or all of the damage is irreversible?

Be proactive and get in the driver's seat.                            Live.Your.Best.Life

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Create healthy habits and live your best life:

  • Exercise daily--walk, run, bike, swim, yoga, lift weights, dance, hike, etc..
  • Eat healthy and start with plants first (veggies, fruits, lean meats)  Need great nutrition advice?  Reach out to Melissa.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol - one brings you up and the other brings you down--keep your body and mind running optimally with high quality food and plenty of water
  • Sleep--you should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and sorry, you can't catch up on sleep
  • Create a vision for your life-get inspired by reading Think and Grow Rich for Womenby Sharon Lechter based on the principles of Napoleon Hill
  • Go on a retreat. Spend time in nature--recharge and boost creativity.
  • Invest in relationships-spend regular time with the ones you love and enjoy
  • Say NO--stop over-committing and ensure your daily actions match your vision.
  • Still feeling stressed?  Take a few deep breaths--or even better meditate.  Try this app to learn to meditate: Calm

What do you do to live your best life?  Let me know and let's keep the list rolling.  Looking forward to being inspired by you!

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver