Monday, September 26, 2011

De-stressing--what works for me

Do you find yourself stressed about certain aspects of your life? I know I do. I guess I'll just come out and be honest--I am only stressed about work from time to time. All other aspects of my life just don't stress me out and I am completely happy with them.


During the YMCA community day programming two Saturdays ago, my mom and I had pretty much a one-on-one session with the teacher about de-stressing and living well.

She talked about ways to control stress in your life. The speaker represents the Living Compass program that the YMCA is offering this fall. It's motto is "inner strength training."

Some of what we talked about included examples like the following: at work, delegate tasks to others when possible (I've been doing this more often and it helps), say no to people (had to learn how to do this, but sometimes with my colitis, I have to step back and say my schedule is too busy and need to put my health first), and talk to someone about what's bugging you (I've done this, it helps, but I need to learn to keep my complaining to a minimum). Basically, follow the "AAAbc's of Stress" which are: Alter, Avoid, Accept, Build up my resistance or resilience, Change myself or perceptions.

Here are the ways I am managing my stress lately:

-I have been meditating for about an hour each day since March of this year. This has calmed me down a lot in general and made me think more clearly. I don't tend to react as harshly as I used to when things irritate me.


-I declared it in a recent blog post, but I will cut back on blogging when I feel like other things need to come first in my life. Since I work full-time, I have no choice but to consider blogging a hobby and one cannot devote every day of the week to a hobby if they want a healthy life balance.

-Driving in rush hour traffic is stressful. Driving in the snowy Wisconsin winters in a little, light car like mine is even more stressful! I am going to start taking the bus in November. I'll still have to drive to a freeway flyer lot, but it's worth it. It will cut back on the stress I feel from driving. It will also be good for the environment and allow me to de-stress even more by reading and listening to music or podcasts on my way into and home from work. I am really looking forward to reading every day.

-Get enough sleep during the work week! I am automatically more stressed when I am tired.

*I used to love Garfield when I was about 10 years old, so I had to go with this image. :)


-Take breaks at work. I get two 15 minute breaks per day and a half hour for lunch. I used to just take my lunch break and didn't take my 15 minute breaks. Now I step away from my desk to read or check my e-mail on my iPod touch.

-Read and relax each day.


-Eat a healthy diet.

breakfast eggs, tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, green peppers

-We all know this, so I won't say much, but working out really helps me combat my stress after a long day at work. Thanks to endorphins, I can go to the gym in a cranky, negative state and leave perfectly happy and energetic.

Here are a list of things you can do under the category of "building up my resistance or resilience" from the Living Compass worksheets we received: healthy diet, regular exercise, build and maintain support systems, invest in relationships, meditation/prayer/faith, and rest and play. I was happy to see that I do a lot of these things already!

How are you managing your stress?


  1. Though I hate public transit, I find that riding the train helps de-stress me. I read while someone else does all the driving.

  2. I needed this. I've been slowing starting to say "no" in order to "grow" but with that comes having to learn that people may not like the answer. I'm a people pleasure at heart, and having people being displeased or unhappy with me drives me BONKERS. But you can't please everybody! Unless you're rude, it's ok to do what you want to do. You can only live one life, and that's yours. Good for you! Thanks for this post.

  3. I totally agree that sometimes you have to let people down by saying no, but you know what is best for you, and sometimes that involves making decisions others don't like. I have learned this as I have grown older. In my 20's, I said yes to way too much and it wasn't good for me. Now that I am old and wise in my 30's, ha ha, I am learning that I feel better going with my gut on decisions at work or in my personal life.