Friday, February 3, 2012

My Stress Busters

In response to the previous post about Demi Moore's exhaustion breakdown, I'll tell you how I've been handling my surmounting stress levels that hit me starting the first of this year. As anyone who's in sales knows, there is always pressure to get more sales, hit higher goals.

I've cultivated an army of support. First I have Ed, the massage therapist at Massage Envy, who is well too familiar with the tightness in my neck and shoulders. He focuses on loosening up those areas and has advised to put ice packs on my neck to ease the stiffness and pain in between massage sessions. Who knew?

Then there's Dave at 20 Fit, who gives me a quick 20-minute cardio-weight workout that acts like a "clearinghouse" for my stress level. When I'm done with him, I feel like I've left a chunk of stress at the ellyptical machine. He made a jolting comment to me when he said: "I would rather be broke and stress free than live your lifestyle." Wow, does it really show that much?

Next is Kim Bensen, who has her own weight loss center, here in Shelton, CT she once weighed 350 pounds, and dieted towards a slim 135 pounds in two years. She documents her inspiring story in the book Finally Thin, available on Amazon.com. Kim recently lead a meeting on how stress can effect our eating choices. Go to her website, www. kimbensen.com to see her video of the meeting stress and eating.

Last Saturday, night when I went to a ballroom dancing event, there were bowls of potatoe chips and pretzels in the middle of each table. I don't normally eat this stuff, but I chugged the garbage down to calm my nerves while I waited for someone to ask me to dance. I haven't ballroom danced in five years, so I knew I would be rusty, but I reasoned I had to start somewhere. Next time, I'm sitting along the wall away from the tables.

When I'm at home, I always light lots of candles with soothing scents. Currently, I've been burning a Yankee Candle that fills the house with the smell of lavendar. I probably should take warm baths more, I know a lot women do. But I prefer turning my shower head to the pulsating mode and let it beat on my shoulders and neck for awhile. Lastly, when I come home overwhelmed with stress, I take a calcium pill or a Tylenol PM or a valium from the stash my mother gives me when she visits and just go to bed. Sometimes I sleep with a hot water bottle on my neck.

I've been told yoga and meditation are great stress busters, too. I haven't tried that, but hope to get around to it.

Whatever you do, don't ignore stress, as Kim said in her meeting, it will eventually break you down, and manifest itself in some sort of illness--an ulcer, a heart attack, a stroke, or worse. In Demi Moore's case, it may just drive you into the hospital or rehab. Do what you can to nip it in the bud.


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