Ever noticed how New Year’s resolutions tend to lose their shine by…oh… the middle of January? I must confess I’ve never made one that I carried out for a full year, so this year I decided to forgo the custom and be unresolved in 2009.

Then yesterday I caught a snippet of my favorite talk show. It was a rerun of a pre-Christmas show, and the guest was talking about how to be less stressed. Especially timely for the holiday season, but good advice for life in general.

He claims that stress and how we react to it are two very different things. Stress is often brought on by external situations over which we have no control. It’s how we react to those situations that determines their degree of stressfulness. He suggested a few simple things to help our minds and bodies cope with stress.

A good night’s sleep

Before the invention of the electric light bulb, people slept an average of 10.2 hours a night. Now the average is 6.9 hours. Yikes! I suspect the invention of the computer, or at least the Internet, has also had an effect, but that’s just a personal hunch. What we need is a minimum of eight hours of sleep.

I wonder if afternoon naps count. I happen to be a master napper!

Good and adequate nutrition

Again, this was all straightforward common sense. Start the day with protein and minimal carbs. Don’t go for long periods of time without eating. A mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack will keep energy levels up, but that snack should be a healthy choice. A chocolate bar will provide a brief afternoon energy boost before we enter the crash-and-burn phase—been there, done that!—but an apple and some yogurt will help us stay focused and productive till dinnertime.

And of course it never hurts to stop and smell the flowers!

Drink lots of water

Apparently the majority of people are not well hydrated. Lack of water can result in headaches, poor concentration, problems sleeping, trouble with joints, and digestive disorders, as well as dry skin and eyes. The general advice is to drink eight cups or about two quarts of water every day, and I’m happy to say this is one part of my New Year’s resolution that I’ve already mastered. Every morning I fill a two-quart jug with water. Most days I drink all of it, and some days I drink more. So if you’re feeling yucky, a glass of water just might be the fix.

In general, the gist of this expert’s message was that taking care of ourselves helps us manage stress. Not wanting to cause you any more stress than you may already be feeling but…were you good to yourself in 2008? I think I was, but I resolve to do an even better job in 2009.

And did you know this also happens to be the Wet Noodle Posse’s motto?

Be good to yourself, or else!

This will be the topic of the Posse’s January blogs, every week from Monday to Thursday. Friday will still be Q&A day, and on the first Friday of every month we’ll announce new releases by Noodlers. And be sure to check out today’s post, outlining what we have in store for you this year.

So be good to yourself and visit the Wet Noodle Posse. Or else!

Wishing you the very best in 2009!

Until next time,

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