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Stay healthy

Physical wholeness, as we all know, is about the food we eat, the number of glasses of water we drink in a day, proper exercise, etc. Our body should also have the mental wholeness to manage our stress and the ability to process problems and dilemmas and to deal with life's challenges.

Recently, I was approached by a high-potential employee who said, “Please mentor me. I feel so desperate." Her candour impressed me. How can someone, a millennial like her, who is so talented feel so helpless. I felt her situation was unique but also typical of her generation today. Her superiors, finding her intelligent and reliable, have been heaping work on her; she is made to play different roles and responsibilities, raising her level of stress to intolerable limits. Having to go home through heavy traffic, she felt entitled to relax upon reaching home.

Thanks to Netflix, she is able to watch her favorite Korean drama, ending up relaxed and entertained. The challenge is she can’t stop watching as the episodes are so interesting and intriguing. She ends up eating dinner in front of the television set, sometimes even ignoring the call of her mother to eat with the family. She usually ends watching around midnight and too stimulated from the drama series, she can’t sleep and, consequently, she arrives late for work. The day has not begun, but she can sense the stress building as she takes a look at her to-do list with a lot of unfinished business.

After intent listening, she agreed to follow these guidelines. First, learn how to prioritize work. This means recognizing what is most urgent and important. Then focus on “living the present moment” well, do the task with excellence and completion before moving to the next task. Second, learn the value of detachment. This means if an important meeting or phone call interrupts your work, take a deep breath, detach, and focus your attention on the person needing help.

Third, try to sleep eight hours a night. Sleep, for me, is the best stress reliever. Try to discover what relaxes you. For me, watching the news is one way of relaxing myself or reading a relaxing novel, with the discipline of doing just one chapter every evening, or taking a 30-minute walk before or after dinner.

Fourth, eat well and healthy, for food moderation has always been my mantra. Take a good mix of fruit and vegetables and alternate, for the main dish, meat and fish. Moderate your carbohydrates. So as not to overeat, I picked up a suggestion from a friend health buff. To keep trim, he chews his food 15 times before swallowing. This enables good digestion and, mentally, the stomach feels full without overeating.

Fifth, exercise. Three times a week, after my daily Mass, I walk for 30 minutes with my buddies. I get the enjoyment of personal friendships and interaction. We also enjoy nice views of nature and fresh air. Afterwards, we are ready to dive into our day.

Finally, process problems or difficulties that impact your well-being and “cast your cares unto the Lord.”

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