Monday, April 13

National High Five Day

High fives are quite possibly the most well-known and most ridiculed form of physical human contact.  Although brief, they symbolize so much more than a job well done. As defined by Wikipedia: A high five is a celebratory gesture made by two people, each raising one hand to slap the raised hand of the other — usually meant to communicate mutual satisfaction to spectators or to extend congratulations from one person to another. It is hard to imagine that someone actually invented the high five because it is such a well known gesture in our culture today. There are many stories claiming to be the origin of this brilliant gesture, but none of them are actually proven to be true. So if you hear one of these stories take it for what it's worth and decide for yourself if you believe it.

 Since its invention, the high five has developed many different forms along the years. Wired magazine did an awesome article on perfecting your high five form of choice.

Everyone knows the classic high five:

1. Always initiate. He who launches the high five owns the high five. Engageyour upper-arm muscles, keep your wrist firm, and propel your hand like the
meteor of awesome it is. (Maintain altitude and an open hand — this ain't no
fist bump.) Your high-five can only surrender.
2. Don't look at the hand.
That looming palm is a moving, unpredictable target. Instead, keep your eye on
the elbow; that'll automatically line up your mitts.
3. Cup your palm. As you reach the high point of the arc, make your hand slightly concave to create that satisfying thunderclap.

Then there is the "Todd": 

Is your hero the misunderstood, hypersexual surgeon on Scrubs? Divert attention
from pending sex-harassment suits by courting favor with coworkers. Snip the
sleeves off your shirt and give 'em some skin!

1. If your mark is reluctant, play the pity card, imploring him to "show the [your name here] some love."2. Now hit his hand as hard as you can. You should hear a whip-crack.
3. Snap your fingers.

The Top Gun:
Is your ego writing checks your body can't cash? You and your wingman require a
sick move to show up those who don't feel the need for speed.

1. Initiate the classic move (impact at 12 o'clock), but make contact with only the outside
edge of your hands.2. Move your bogies past one another's and arc downward 180 degrees to slap a low five  in the 6 o'clock position.
3. Howl, as if at the moon.

The 21 Jump Street:Sure, your crack team never lets the captain down, but how do you show you've got each other's backs? Why, a multi-man high five, of course. There's no actual slap here, but your crew does things its own way.
1. Stand in a circle and extend your right hands into the middle.
2. Wiggle your fingers while moving your hands upward in unison.
3. At the peak, form your hands into pistols and fire into the air.

And those are just a few of the crazy ones. You also have the more well-known low five, air five, very high five, and the prank style high five "too slow".

Whichever style of high-five you chose, celebrate High Five Day with an abnormal amount of high fiving throughout your day.  It will make you and everyone you come in contact with happier than you would think!

National Stress Awareness Day

Stress.  Everyone has it.  Stress definitely has a negative connotation, but in reality we all need stress to keep us alive and functioning.  National Stress Awareness Day was strategically placed on April 16th, the day after taxes are due.  It is designed to be a day to acknowledge the things that cause you stress in your life and to begin to make strides in getting those stresses under control.  

I think this is a perfect time to try to take control of the stresses in my life because it's the time in the semester when all of my exams are done, except for finals.  I can finally take a breath and start to prepare for the things ahead.  

It is really important to learn what things cause stress in your life and how to control those things before they become too overwhelming to bear.  For example, I know that tests really stress me out.  So when I know I have a test coming up, I make sure I prepare really well for it as to not tip my pre-test stress scale.  That way, when it comes time to actually take the test, I feel under control and prepared, rather than panicked.  

Stress is your body's way of rising to a challenging situation--also called your fight or flight response.  It is an involuntary reaction in our body that has been around since mankind was born.  It was used back in caveman days when a man came face-to-face with a predator he could either fight and kill it for food, or he could exercise his flight reaction and run.  When a stressor has an effect on us like this, our body produces chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol, which increases our blood pressure and heightens our senses.  When these chemicals are released for an extended period of time, stress can become very overwhelming.

That is why it is imperative to recognize when your body is feeling stressed and take control of it before it takes control of you. Here are some tips on how to relieve stress:

  • Don't over schedule; it's ok to have a full schedule but don't pile so much on your plate that you can't give each thing a fair amount of time.
  • Be realistic; it is only going to stress you out more if you make a goal to accomplish twice as much as is humanly possible in a day.
  • SLEEP!  We all love sleep; college students and adults alike, but for some reason sleep is the first thing to be put on hold when we are going through stressful times.  Your body needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night to rest and get ready for the following day, so instead of staying up late to finish a project, try to going to bed early and waking up earlier in the morning to get a head start to your day.
  • Take time to relax.  Whether it is a 20 minute power nap or just sitting down to read a magazine or watch some television, give your body a break periodically throughout your day and really try to take some deep breaths and chill out for a few minutes.
  • Take things one step at a time.  Attack big projects little-by-little with small breaks intermittently to reward yourself.  This way you will feel like you have accomplished something and when it comes time for the big project to be completed, you won't be overwhelmed with work.
  • Smile :) Having a positive attitude toward things will really improve your overall well-being along with your mood.  Smiling and laughing are also natural stress relievers, so make sure you do something to make you smile or talk to someone who makes you laugh everyday!