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Learn to manage stress

Some stress is normal and even healthy. Stress releases hormones that speed up your heart, make you breathe faster and give you a burst of energy.

This can be useful when you need to focus or act quickly. But too much stress or being under stress for too long is not good for you.

It can make health problems like heart disease, diabetes and asthma worse. It can make you moody, anxious and depressed. It can cause headaches, back pain and muscle tension. It can hurt your relationships. You may have trouble at home or at work.

Classic signs of stress include headache, stiff neck or a nagging backache. You may lose your temper more often. You may feel exhausted all the time.

Know what is important to you, whether it's your family, your work or something else. When you are under stress, it can help to remember what matters most.

Try to have a sense of control over your life. You can't control every detail but look for areas where you can make a difference. Not everything is out of your hands.

Do things that let you be creative and let you be yourself. Do activities outside of your job - hobbies, exercise, social groups, volunteer work, travel - whatever you like to do.

Most of all - learn to relax!

Speaking of relaxing - there is a new and exciting opportunity for seniors in our community starting in September.

Midway Cinema 9 will host special "60 Years Old and Better Movie Matinees" the second Wednesday of each month September through May.

The doors at the cinema will open at 1 p.m. and the movies will begin at 1:30 p.m. Admission will be $4. Pop and popcorn will be $1 each. Come and bring a friend or meet a friend.

Ways to reduce stress

• Decide what matters and what can wait. Maybe there are things you don't need to do at all.

• Learn to say no.

• Do one thing at a time. When you try to do too many things at once, each usually takes more time than it would if you focused on one at a time.

• Get organized. Make lists. Don't put things off. Save some time for yourself.

• Leave your job at the office. If you give up free time to get more work done, you may pay for it with stress related problems. Unplug when you leave work. Leave your work cell phone behind or turn it off.

• Get enough sleep. Stress can seem worse than it is when you are tired all the time.

Healthy ways to de-stress:

Listen to music, exercise, go outside, play with a pet, laugh or cry, spend time with someone you love, write, draw, paint, pray, go to church, take a bath, work in the yard, mow lawn, do home repairs, do yoga or meditation.