Stress

The harder you find it to spare 20 minutes a day for relaxation,
the more desperately you probably need it.

The following is a list of things that we can do for self-care:

* Gather your support system - Identify the people you know you can talk to and give yourself permission to do that.

* Express your anger – It is normal and healthy to feel angry at times. Express that anger in positive ways. Remember anger can be a great motivator.

* Get political - Educate yourself on the issues that are causing you this distress. Write letters, sign petitions. Turn your anger at the injustice into something positive.

* Keep a journal or write letters – Writing down your feelings is a way of letting them go. You may want to write an angry or sad letter to someone. Your decision to send the letter is not as important as being able to express your emotions.

* Exercise - Whether it is walking, tennis, or aerobics. Exercise provides a healthy release of emotions.

* Talk to a co-worker - Try to find an opportunity in each day to process with a trusted co-worker who you know will listen without judging.

* Enjoy the outdoors - Try walking outside and taking a minute to allow all your senses to work. It may help you to clear your mind and equip you to put things into perspective.

* Allow room for creativity - Not all of us have the skills of an artist, a poet, or a painter and creative activities can serve as great outlets and can also be fun. There are many different ways to be creative, try cooking, baking, home decorating or gardening.

* Get silly - Humor is on great way to release tension. Tap into your child self do something unexpected like blow bubbles out the window of your car while in a traffic jam and so forth.  Be creative!

* Find time for yourself - At work we are often struggling to meet the needs of others and for many of us, home can be much the same. Take some time for yourself, to do the things you need to do. Think about scheduling yourself some private time every day so that taking care of yourself becomes a habit. Consider taking a day-off from your regular responsibilities for no other reason than to indulge yourself. REMEMBER – YOU DESERVE IT!

* Make a list – of all the wonderful things you can do for yourself such as having a hot bath by candlelight, read poetry, lie on the grass and watch the stars, eat Italian ice cream, etc.

How do you know when you are Stressed?

* Sleep disturbances
* Intestinal pain
* Lack of concentration
* Resentment
* Rapid pulse
* Shallow Breathing
* Feeling that you are no longer in control
* Decrease in sex hormones
* Sore jaw
* Headaches
* Compromised immune system (colds, flu)
* Diarrhea
* Insomnia
* Hardening of the arteries
* Fatigue
* Lack of appetite
* Feeling dozy or yawning
* High uric acid levels causing gout
* High blood pressure
* Spacing out = forgetting things

Benefits of Humour in Your Life

* Coping strategy
* Reduced tension, anxiety and stress – lower stress hormones
* Increased creativity, learning, motivation and energy
* Increased immunity – releases immunoglobulin A
* Reduces blood pressure, heart and respiration rate
* Reduces pain by releasing endorphins
* Improved creative problem solving
* Increased productivity
* Improved relationships, camaraderie

You CAN return to balance everyday. Your reaction is your choice!

* Will this matter in two years?
* How else might I look at this? Is there another less stressful way I could do this?
* What is the situation teaching me? What can I learn from this?
* What would a calm person do?
* Can I actually change this situation? If not, how can I make peace with this?
* What old fear is being expressed?
* Is this a good time for a strategic pause?
* Is this something that I can avoid in the future? How?
* Am I being a perfectionist here? Is “good enough” good enough?
* What is the worst that can happen here?
* What unexpected good could come out of this?
* Is this reaction based in reality or is it my fear talking here?