9 Ways to Reduce Your Stress
As you read this, you may realize that you’ve probably heard this information before. Would you accept our invitation to re-visit these ideas with an open mind and an intention to help yourself alleviate the damaging effects of prolonged stress?
There is unanimous agreement among healthcare professionals that stress can make you sick, reduce your quality of life and in some cases, even end your life. High blood pressure, insomnia, digestive disorders, premature aging, and depression are just some of the risks of unmanaged anxiety. What is also true is that it is often insidious. We get accustomed to the internal “buzz” that stress creates, and it just becomes integrated into our every day experience. We may tell ourselves that we are fine, or even feel pleased about getting through yet another day of pressure without having a meltdown. We might not even notice that we are living our lives in “fight or flight” mode – when we have a strong stress reaction, the chemicals secreted by the brain stay with us, even when the acute stress has passed.
Many people accept that this is just a fact of life – you may tell yourself that you are a caregiver, a corporate executive, a parent, an adult child of a declining parent, a small business owner – and that stress is just part of that kind of responsibility. Maybe so – but there are strong indications that the residuals of constant stress need attention for us to stay well.
Each of us has the ability to do something about it. Maybe preventing it entirely is unrealistic – but can you improve how you of handling these moments? Although this is not new information, it might be helpful to pause, and take a look at the influence that stress is having on your life. Maybe there is nothing to do about the actual stressors – they are real and often not in your control. Don’t give up - the process doesn’t end there. Consider that trying to reduce or change the cause of the stress may not be the only answer and that managing your response to it might be another option. Trying to change the fact that your Mom has dementia, or your adolescent kid is defiant and difficult with you, or that the company you work for is being sold and your job security is up in the air – well, that’s a pretty tall order. But what could you do?
Following are some suggestions. Why not take 60 seconds, take a breath, and read them with an open mind? Is there just one thing on this list that you might try to reduce what are known to be damaging chemical responses in your body?
Any of these strategies might change your habitual response and help your nervous system cope with the effect that stress inevitably will have on your well- being. Challenge yourself to pick just one and notice any difference in how you feel.
Try at least one of these for a month (take it a day, or a moment, at a time). It is unlikely that you will not discover some benefit in taking better care of yourself. As we’ve all heard “This is not a dress rehearsal”. It is our only chance to enjoy this life.
A Travel Guide to Denver, Colorado
No matter what season you choose to visit the Mile High City, you’ll be greeted with plenty of options. Denver, Colorado is home to numerous types of entertainment, from outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing to shows and concerts at venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Though it may be cliche to say, Denver is a city that truly has something for everyone. If you’re planning a trip to Denver anytime soon, here are some of the must see and do things.
The city of Denver offers visitors many amazing sights to see. From the heart of the city, you can catch a beautiful view of the city skyline with the towering Rocky Mountains in the background. While downtown, there are a number of other must visit attractions that should be added to your list.
The 16th St Mall is one of Denver’s best sights. No matter what time of day, there is always something going on here. The city has closed off a large section of street to vehicles, creating a pedestrian mall. Wandering around exploring the variety of different stores and shops can be a fun way to experience Denver.
The city’s LoDo district was once in shambles, but in recent years has become a hot spot for residents and visitors alike. Like the 16th St Mall, it is a very walkable part of the city. No matter what you are craving, there are tons of bars and restaurants to choose from, ensuring you’ll be satisfied.
Should you choose to get out of the city, a quick drive to the top of nearby Mount Evans can be incredibly rewarding. Those that make the journey are treated with a unique look at both the city and the surrounding peaks.
Located in one of Denver’s oldest residential neighborhoods and in close proximity to the spacious City Park, the Warwick Hotel in Uptown makes for a great place to stay. It’s close enough to downtown to enjoy the city’s numerous breweries but just far enough from downtown to avoid many of the crowds. The Warwick features a rooftop bar and includes free bike rentals, making it even easier to explore the city.
If a hotel isn’t your style, Denver is full of vacation rentals. Check out AirBnb to see if there is something that meets your needs!
Like most other major cities in the US, Denver is full of amazing restaurants, offering dishes from every corner of the world. With a strong Hispanic influence, there are a number of must hit taco shops, but El Taco de Mexico off of Santa Fe Drive stands alone as Denver’s king of tacos.
Looking for something to cure a hangover after a long night out downtown? Head over to the Breakfast King where you can enjoy coffee and a tasty, filling breakfast in this retro style diner. If you’re wanting a true Denver experience, be sure to opt for a green chile smothered meal!
Unlike many other major cities, Denver is very spread out. Getting around can be tedious, unless most of your itinerary includes stops in the downtown area. However, like most major cities, traffic and parking can be a major headache. If you’re staying downtown, but have other plans throughout the city, a luxury car makes for a great way to get around. Should you opt to leave the city and head to the nearby mountains for a hiking or skiing excursion, a truck or a midsize SUV may be the ticket. With better clearance and four wheel drive, the larger vehicle may be a pain while in the city, it opens up a number of options once you get off of the beaten path.
The city has a number of other ways to get around if a car isn’t an option. With rentable scooters from companies such as Lyft and Bird, bikes you can check out via an app, plenty of ride sharing services, a great bus system and a light rail, it is very easy to get around Denver without a vehicle.
Featuring easy access to the mountains, a vibrant downtown and thriving music scene, Denver has a multitude of attractions to choose from.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, located just a short trip from the city center, is a must visit for any music fan. Surrounded by sandstone rock formations that naturally amplify sounds, Red Rocks plays host to a number of world-renowned musical acts throughout the year.
Colorado is home to one of the country’s best craft brewing scenes and Denver can be considered the epicenter. A brewery tour in downtown Denver will take you to a variety of different spots where you can try beers of any type.
US News & World Report lists Denver as the third best place to live in the U.S., and we’d like to add that it’s also the best place to raise a family. City ranking sites like Niche.com continually list Denver as a top city to raise a family and the mile-high city definitely deserves that distinction. Denver is a bustling metropolitan city surrounded by serene suburbs nestled in the shadow of the beautiful Rockies. You can eat, dine, shop, play, hike, and snowboard all in the same day. Plus, the medium home price of $421,500 in the Denver area can’t be beat, considering that access to culture, nature, and city-life is all within reach.
Families love Denver because there’s always something to do. Take the kids to the Denver Zoo, which is modeled after a Kenyan nature preserve or to a Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field. Parents love the Denver Art Museum, a sleek ultra-modern complex featuring classical and contemporary art, but take their little ones to the Children’s Museum of Denver for fun, interactive exhibits. Other fun outings in Denver that are great for kids are the Elich Gardens Theme and Water Park, the Downtown Aquarium, and Dinosaur Ridge, which is a short drive from the city, but you can touch the bones of Allosaurus and Stegosaurus where they were originally discovered in the late 1800s. If you want to save some money, take a stroll through Washington Park in the summer — which boasts several gardens, jogging paths, two lakes, paddle boats, and a rec center — or take the family on a hike through Red Rocks Park.
Your teens will have fun hanging out at 16th Street mall, which is an outdoor mall filled with shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. At night, the whole family can take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage up and down the busy street. Your kids might also like the 50,000-square-foot Denver Skatepark, which is free and even fun for parents to do some people watching.
If you’re looking for good date night options, head over to Larimer Square for upscale dining and drinks in a historic part of the downtown. Or parents can get a sitter and try one of Denver’s many breweries (like the legendary Coors Brewery) or try one of the city’s fun walking brewery tours.
Denver is a beautiful city to live in if you want to experience all that the changing seasons have to offer. The summers are warm and dry which many Denverites spend in the parks or at the Denver Botanic Garden, and the winters bring such gorgeous snowfalls that many families like to go snowtubing — with snow tubing and sledding areas just an hour and half drive from the city center.
The schools in Denver are fantastic, no matter what age your child is. Denver Public Schools offer preschool programs to three and four-year-olds, but if you need childcare options for your infants and toddlers, there are plenty of private preschools to choose in Denver. For example, The Cadence Academy has five locations across Colorado and will enroll children as young as six weeks old. Expertise.com noted that Denver has 135 preschools, so you’ll have no trouble finding one you love. As far as K-12 is concerned, Denver has everything from private religious schools, to art schools, to public schools with Gifted and Talented programs, plus a variety of private and charter schools all over the Denver area.
We mentioned the median Denver home price above, but if you move out to the surrounding suburbs, the average price of a home drops. Suburbs like Centennial have homes in the mid $200,000s, the medium home price in the neighborhood of Montebello is $304,600, but Windsor is perhaps the most affordable suburb and has more condo options than any of the other neighborhoods.
Denver is a diverse, progressive city surrounded by beautiful suburbs which makes it the perfect place to start a family. With a variety of outdoor activities to suit anyone in your brood, a wide range of schooling options, and affordable home prices — we can’t think of a better place for your family.
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