Take Heart and Manage Stress is by Kelly Hassett of MedCOR Professionals.

February has been nicknamed “Heart Month” not only because of Valentine’s Day, but because the American Heart Association has been celebrating National Wear Red Day in February for the last 10 years. For everyone, but especially children of Baby Boomers who find themselves in the difficult position of working full-time while caring for aging parents, growing children and possibly even grandchildren, February is the perfect month to take stock and figure out better ways manage stress in everyday life.

If you are aged 35 – 54, you’re officially part of the “Sandwich Generation.” According to the American Psychological Association, “Nearly 40 percent of those aged 35 -54 report extreme levels of stress…not only on personal relationships…but also on their own well-being as they struggle to take better care of themselves.” This problem is a catch-22; caring for both children and parents while managing the responsibilities of everyday life can be stressful. This stress makes it difficult to handle responsibilities, which in turn, causes more stress.

Best Way to Manage Stress

manage stress to feel betterThe best way to manage stress is two fold. First, make time for yourself so you have the mental and physical energy to care for your loved ones. Second, get up and move. Take a walk, practice yoga, play softball or do whatever physical activity makes you happy.

If your schedule doesn’t allow you to join a gym, it may be time to invest in workout equipment for your home. Set aside a small space and visit your local equipment supplier. Consider a treadmill, an elliptical trainer, stationary cycle or a set of weights. Qualified specialists will not only sell you the equipment, they will teach you the best way to use it, and they’ll be there to answer questions even after the equipment is delivered to your home.

Yes, caring for loved ones can be challenging, but it is also life affirming, and “Heart Month” is the perfect time to improve the way you manage stress. After all, the memories you create today are the ones you’ll have for the rest of your life.