Come to de-stress, stay for the joy

“How can simple, sustainable actions you do have an impact on your day?” asks Liz Anema, Yoga teacher, studio director, and instructor at The Marsh in Minnetonka, MN. “Breathing correctly and especially while feeling stressed, being mindful about the moment you are in right now, taking small breaks throughout the day to stretch or move, these are all ways you can positively affect your day.”

Anema will be the featured speaker at Mille Lacs Health System’s community wellness event for women called “Stress-Less” on Thursday, April 27, from 4-7 p.m. at Holy Cross Center in Onamia. She says that beginning with setting an intention for our days, even while still in bed, has been shown to help cultivate joy instead of stress. “Sometimes, when thinking of our upcoming day, a situation hasn’t even happened yet, so our normal brains don’t know if it’s going to be good or bad,” Anema says. “But if we say negative things about that situation, if we think bad thoughts before anything has even occurred, that’s what wrecks us. It creates this spiral of negative chaos, and it’s just not good for us.”

She has an impressive background of education, training, and work  ̶  related to yoga, mindfulness-based living, exercise therapy, meditation, managing stress and enhancing resilience, and women’s wellness.  Along with working at The Marsh, a center for balance and fitness, she has presented at corporate functions, retreats, and has done television and radio appearances.

Anema will be speaking at the event to give women simple, self-help tools to take away with them, to help turn on the relaxation response and find ways to de-stress both during the day and at planned times of re-charging. “The way we breathe normally doesn’t serve the body as well as when we learn how to do it properly. It can help in so many situations we find ourselves in as parents, employees, leaders, partners,” she says. “Another thing is the chemistry of joy. Being aware of how we react to situations, knowing some small ways to cultivate joy, is so important to us all. Living in the now, taking time for oneself, having a chance to ‘refill the well’ – that’s why these types of events are so important to attend.”

In addition to Anema, MLHS depts. will have booths with essential information about what the health system provides, and each with a way to help participants reduce stress. Screenings such as blood glucose, Body Mass Index measurements, skin cancer, and information about an upcoming screening available for lung cancer, will be offered. (To sign up for skin cancer screening, please reserve a space by calling 320-532-2608.) There will be an “Ask The Doc” booth, where you can meet a few of the newer providers and ask any questions you have. MLHS also has some talented artisans, as well as sellers of various items women love to shop for, which will be available in the vendor area.

Vendors from the community will be on hand to sell plants, items for gardening, aromatherapy oils, organic meat, creative crafts, and a “cooking with joy” presentation. There will be Shiatsu massage, a wine sampling, and a light meal will be served.  Deb Newton will be giving yoga and other de-stressing demonstrations during the vendor/booth time. The vendor and booth areas will be open from 4-6, and Liz Anema will give her presentation from 6-7 p.m.

There will be giveaway bags with aromatherapy, and each MLHS table will have its own giveaways. Scratch-off tickets will reveal more goodies, and door prizes in the form of aromatherapy baskets and other gift baskets, will be given. There will also be opportunities for other prizes, including two 3-day passes to Lakes Jam in Brainerd (in June) with a value of $400. Must be present to win all door prizes and gift baskets. The event is free and open to women of all ages.

“I want to help women understand that when you realize you can change the way you react to stress, that’s where you can make a difference in the outcome,” Anema says. “The small things you can learn really can change your perspective and your life. Even if we know some of these things, we need opportunities to be reminded.”