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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dealing with Stress

It has been ages since my last post. I decided to take some time off to finish my final paper for my master's degree. I am not completely finished, but I am almost there! The reason I chose to end the hiatus was because I needed to. Someone last week asked me how I handled my stress. I answered that I normally exercise, journal or talk it out. Lately, I have only been dealing with stress by talking it out. This works well, but not as well as the combination always has. So, I hit the gym yesterday and decided to go back to blogging today.

I started wondering how other people have been dealing with their stresses since the economic downturn. I have noticed that many people that I see on a regular basis in my community look like they have gained a few pounds. Our community was hit especially hard this past two years with our largest employer (DHL) picking up and leaving thousands jobless. I began wondering if many of us gaining weight is due to the stresses we have felt because of the economy. Then I realized that many of us are not dealing with our stresses in healthy ways including myself.

I need to take a step back and remind myself that snacking to relieve stress doesn't work. What has worked over the years is going for a run or a long walk to clear my head. If that doesn't do it, I can sit down and write down my thoughts. I took a stress management class many years ago and many of the journaling tricks I learned there have continued to help me today, especially the part about writing down what you are thankful for about your life each and every day. I have written about this in a previous post but it's definitely worth repeating.

So how do you best handle stress? Physical exertion can be a great way to feel better. Try getting out for a walk with your family every evening, or go for a run in the morning before work, get a game of one-on-one going or play some tennis with your spouse. There are many great ways to relieve your stress in a physical way, eating is not one of them. I am taking my own advice right now and I am getting off this chair and going for a quick run before work. I am sick and tired of my pants getting tighter! Adios for now....

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