Nine Ways I Diffuse Stress

It must be that time of year. School is out in 46 days. The social calendar for May, June and beyond is filling quickly. There is little time to accomplish all those “to-d0s”; and just when I cross one off the list another quickly takes its place. So, this morning, I was thinking about ways I could rid myself of all the stress threatening to turn me into a snarly witch.

Here’s what works for me. What about you? Maybe you have some strategies I could try.

1. Clean house/household chores/yard work. For some reason any of these work wonders to diffuse volatile emotions. In addition to gaining a clean home and beautiful landscaping, the sense of accomplishment helps flush out all that unproductive negativity.

2. Hair therapy. Sometimes 30 minutes in the chair with my hair stylist at the helm is all I need. It also helps that she often has a hot, foo-foo, cup of coffee at the ready as well as a pretty impressive list of books she recommends reading.

3. Walk the dog or myself. Add the benefit of warm temps., sunshine and my favorite MP3 selections; and this is my surefire way of coping with challenging tasks.

4. Music. When I run errands or take self-imposed timeouts, I crank up my favorite tunes. My selections depend upon many variables such as the weather, time of year, and mood.

5. Cardio exercise. Nothing removes stress from my pores like an outdoor run at a local park, interval training with Bob Harper DVDs, or striving to beat my best elliptical times.

6. Shoe therapy. I tried this Sunday at DSW after my two angels broke world-records for five days of off-the-charts meltdowns. This maneuver earned me a couple pairs of sandals and a pair of boots for next fall/winter. Ooh la la!

7. Writing. When I write out my feelings, I am much more able to communicate with loved ones about issues that need resolution. Taking this step enables me to think before I speak, which saves me from saying words I will regret in the future.

8. Date nights with my girlfriends. There is nothing like spending a couple hours with girlfriends who are experiencing similar situations with their own partners, children, families, etc. These nights out offer a chance to feel less alone and to obtain suggestions for how to better manage challenges we all face.

9. Laughter. Looking at challenging, stressful situations with a sense of humor makes all the difference. If nothing else, life makes for some great storytelling.

Related previous posts  at kateschannel …

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Life on Friday: A Snarl Unleashed

Defiance Test

 

Reality Check

Up until September, I was an avid viewer of The Biggest Loser. My interest sparked when contestants from Southeastern Michigan celebrated tremendous successes on the show. The Biggest Loser does extend a powerful, positive message: anyone can make lasting positive lifestyle changes given the right environment, support and resources. Also, the celebrity personal trainers, Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, appear to have a proven track records. Their exercise DVDs have been among my best fitness aids because they have helped me realize visible, lasting results.

With that being said, I also think the show encourages at-home viewers to develop unrealistic fitness and weight management expectations. For example, most of us do not have the luxury of leaving professional, parental, marital, social, and household responsibilities to focus exclusively on weight and fitness management for extended periods of time. Next, devoting all wakeful hours to exercise is not a consistent reality and it is unhealthy. Finally, it is unnerving to watch the weigh-ins at the end of each episode. With self-esteem hanging out for all to see, each contestant steps onto the scale for the moment of triumph or defeat. Smiles deflate, shoulders slump and words of disappointment come forth when losses don’t match expectations. I can relate to this. There have been objectives — some too grandiose — I have set for myself. Along the way, I encountered challenges and experienced frustration that zapped my confidence. But, I think contestants should be encouraged to stand proud for all pounds lost. A loss is a loss. Plus, it’s unrealistic for at-home viewers to expect losses comparable to what they see on The Biggest Loser.