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Yoga is a series of stretches and poses, usually in a class, for flexibility, strength, and balance development. The intensity of yoga can be adjusted according to the level of experience.

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Migraine

A Key to Reducing Stress? Simplify.

If only life could be simpler. If only you had less to do, or more time, you might not be under such stress. But this wish is not a pipe dream. Making your life simpler may indeed help you lower your stress level.

How do you begin? One way is to start clearing away the clutter, not just in your home, but also in your mind. Clutter contributes to stress. It can make you feel overwhelmed, disorganized, and frustrated—to the point where your life may seem to be spiraling out of control.

Here are some ideas to try to simplify and declutter your life. They may help keep stress from becoming your constant companion.

Organize your personal things

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned housecleaning. How satisfying it is to clear out clutter and be able to find things when you need them. To declutter your home or workspace:

  • Start small. You do not have to tackle your entire house in a day. Pick 1 room (or even 1 drawer) to begin.
  • Donate. Give the things you do not need or use to charity or sell them at a yard sale. Chances are if you have not used something for a year or more, you will not need it.
  • Toss out junk. Broken objects, gadgets with missing parts, and old rags and papers gathering dust can go to the recycle bin.
  • Organize things you want to keep. You can store them in marked boxes or containers so they’re easy to find.
  • Get a filing cabinet. This way, you can organize paperwork into categories. Sorting through papers gives you a chance to decide what you want to keep and what you can throw out.

Make things easier on yourself

Sometimes a more personal housekeeping is just what you need. If you’re trying to simplify your life, then following these tips may help:

  • Clear your calendar. You do not have to be Superman or Superwoman.
  • Learn to say no. There are a lot of demands on your time. It’s OK to pass on coaching your child’s soccer team or heading your club’s fund-raiser.
  • Rearrange your schedule. If rush-hour traffic stresses you out, then try leaving early for work. Or, take a longer, yet less-traveled, route.
  • Unplug yourself. Turn off the TV, radio, cell phone, and laptop for a while and take a mini-vacation from technology.
  • Keep multitasking to a minimum. Try to focus on 1 task at a time, if possible.

When you simplify your life, you’re giving yourself a gift. It may be a cleaner home or a clearer head, more free time, and maybe even less stress.

Further Resources

About.com

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

The Cleveland Clinic health information

eMedicineHealth.com

KidsHealth.org

Mayo Clinic

Pollen.com

WebMD


Further Resources

Allergy and Asthma Network - Mothers of Asthmatics, Inc.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

American Lung Association

CDC: asthma's impact on children and adolescents

CDC: how to quit

EPA: asthma and indoor environments

NIH: asthma and physical activity in the school

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


Further Resources

American Diabetes Association

Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

Diabetic Exercise and Sports Association

International Diabetes Federation

NIH: NIDDK diabetes health information

NIH: NIDDK nutrition information

NIH: National Diabetes Education Program

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation


Further Resources

American Council for Headache Education

American Headache Society

National Headache Foundation

New England Center for Headache


Further Resources

American Dietetic Association

Dietary guidelines for americans

Food and nutrition information center

NIH: nutrition information

NIH: weight loss and control

NIH: weight control


Always check with the health care professional before beginning any activity plan or increasing activity. It's also important to ask him or her about target heart rate to help determine appropriate exercise intensity.

Always check with your health care professional before beginning any activity plan or increasing your activity. It's also important to ask him or her what your target heart rate is to help determine what exercise intensity is appropriate for you.

Always be sure to check with your health care provider before beginning any activity plan or increasing your activity.

It always helps to ask:

  • What activities are right for me?
  • How much should I do each day?
  • How many days a week?

It's also important to ask him or her what your target heart rate is to help determine what exercise intensity is appropriate for you.

This information is provided by an independent source. Merck is not responsible for this content. Please discuss any and all treatment options with your healthcare professional. The manufacturer of a product generally has the most complete information about that product.

This information is provided by an independent source. Merck is not responsible for this content. Please discuss any and all treatment options with your healthcare professional. The manufacturer of a product generally has the most complete information about that product.

This information is provided by an independent source. Merck is not responsible for this content. Please discuss any and all treatment options with your healthcare professional. The manufacturer of a product generally has the most complete information about that product.

Before making decisions about which policies, if any, to purchase, be sure to:

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Download complete insurance quick reference [PDF 6 pages, 183k] including the health insurance options information on this page.

Before making Medicare choices, always:

Thoroughly review coverage Compare options Call Medicare at 800-633-4227 if you have any questions

Download complete insurance quick reference [PDF, 3 pages, 160k], including Medicare and Medicaid information on this page.

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Health Coach Call

Listen to an example of what a call might sound like.

PlayNutrition call (7:16)
PlayActivity call (7:22)

Here are some important things to know about your Health Coach Call:

Our Coaches are employed by a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., a pharmaceutical company. The information provided is based on generally available nutrition and physical activity guidelines and information applicable to most people. Health Coaches are not licensed dietitians or health and fitness professionals, and they are not in a position to assess your individual nutrition or activity needs. This information is not appropriate if you are pregnant, and it may not be appropriate if you have specialized dietary needs or limitations on the level of activity or exercise you can safely undertake due to your medical conditions. Consult your health care professional regarding your specific needs, limitations, and health conditions. Health Coaches can educate and coach you on nutritional and physical activity recommendations for the typical person. Health Coaches are not health care professionals and cannot offer medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your health care professional because he or she knows you best. If you have a chronic health condition, check with your health care professional to find out if physical activity is safe before you start. If during your call you have concerns about any condition, special dietary needs, limitations on the level of activity or exercise, any treatments, side effects, or adverse experiences, your Health Coach will refer you to your health care professional.

Activity Points Explained

This Planner uses Activity Points as a way to help you stay motivated and focused on your activity goals. Points are assigned to each activity in the Planner. You'll earn more points when you increase the duration of the activity.

For example, when you bicycle for 15 minutes at a moderate pace (12 to 14 mph), you earn 120 Activity Points. To earn the same number of Activity Points while cycling at a very easy pace (less than 10 mph), you would need to bike for 30 minutes.

If you are currently inactive or get very little activity during the week, a good goal to work toward is 500 Activity Points each week. This is equal to 30 minutes of moderate–intensity aerobic exercise on 5 days a week.

If you are moderately or highly active (more than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week), you may want to aim for up to 1,000 Activity Points each week. This is equivalent to 1 hour of activity on 5 days a week.

What you'll gain

At 500 Activity Points per week: Once you consistently reach this level (ie, 150 minutes of moderate–intensity aerobic activity per week), you may gain substantial health benefits. These benefits include lower risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression.

At 1,000 Activity Points per week: When you consistently reach this level (ie, 300 minutes of moderate–intensity aerobic activity per week), you may gain even more health benefits. These benefits include a decreased risk of colon and breast cancer and an even lower risk of heart disease and diabetes.