In these trying times… just kidding. Well, I’m not really kidding, but nobody needs another article that starts that way, so let’s skip the intro and go right to the body - literally.

More and more, scientific research is proving what common sense and experience have told us all along: exercise cures everything. (Wouldn't that be nice?!) And it’s not like you have to go crazy with it; simply walking has been proven to enhance general health and well-being. Bonus points if you exercise outdoors: even when the weather can’t make up its mind (sun! rain! wind! sun! thunderstorm! repeat!), there is no excuse not to take advantage of the loveliness that surrounds us. After all, as the Scandis say, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. Also, hiking = walking.

book cover in praise of walking book cover there's no such thing as bad weather book cover day hike Spokane, Coeur D'Alene, and Sandpoint

Guess what else exercise improves? Your sleep. And almost all of us could use better sleep. Put your phone away, turn off the TV, sip some calming herbal tea… you know the drill. But if you don’t, the Library has a few suggestions:

book cover the sleep solution book cover mindful ways to a good night's sleep sleep music and deep sleep music covers

What else improves your sleep? Breathing. Yes, we all do it, but we don’t all do it *correctly.* Unconscious, shallow breathing robs us of the opportunity to mindfully focus on our breath and engage our parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes feelings of calm and relaxation. You don’t have to exercise, but you do have to breathe - so you might as well make it good. Once you learn how to pay attention to your breath, you are well on your way to a meditation practice, or you could incorporate it into a movement practice like yoga, tai chi, or qi gong. Or, try all three. How calm and in control of yourself do you want to be?

book cover how to walk book cover the science of breath book cover qi gong for anxiety

The titles above are just a tiny sampling of the useful wonders that await you on the digital and physical shelves of your Library. If you’d like help finding anything, or just need someone to point you in the right direction, please give us a call at 263-6930 ext. 0 or email us.


This post is based on the recent CNN article “5 natural ways to boost your mental health during stressful times.”

Vanessa Velez, Collection Development Librarian

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