Stress Triggers & Other Forms of Entertainment

MonsterWhat sets off your stress monster?

For me it goes something like this:

I have back-to-back-to-back meetings.  No time for lunch.  Plus I have after-work commitments.  I’m full-throttle Linda from the moment I wake up until my head hits the pillow at night.  Worse yet, I have this schedule for several consecutive days. 

How do I feel when this happens?  Claustrophobic.  I have no space; no time to gather my thoughts.  Air!  I need air!

Obviously, a packed schedule is one of my stress triggers.

But for my friend, Maggie, this type of schedule inspires her.  She gets a lot done on those busy days and her stress monster isn’t in the least bit annoyed.

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The Smell of Stress Success

2014-01-20 10.42.08Greetings from Dubrovnik, Croatia.  I am part of a group of 28 women who are here to sightsee, relax and enjoy seven days of female-bonding.

Early in the trip I was talking to two sisters, Nancy and Jayne, about ways to reduce stress.  They are big believers in aromatherapy and brought along quite a collection of essential oils.  At the airport we sniffed and discussed the various bottles they brought.

You don’t need to be an aromatherapy person to appreciate your sense of smell.  It can evoke strong feelings.  For instance, bacon (yum!), chocolate (drool!), the ocean (mmmmm).

Last night we returned to the hotel after a sightseeing excursion, and I noticed that one of my credit cards was missing.  Being the well-prepared little traveler, I had on hand the phone numbers of my credit card companies.  I was suppose to have dinner with Nancy and Jayne but told them to go without me since I needed to get this situation sorted.

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The Birth of a Book

reading-bookDo you have a long-held goal or wish?  Maybe you want to run a marathon, or visit Thailand, or become a supermodel.  Perhaps you knew since you were a child that you wanted to be an astronaut/accountant/acrobat.

Is there something you’re yearning to do?

For me, it’s to write a book.  The problem is that the universe didn’t give me more specific instructions.  What should I write about?

At one point, during the Greed-Is-Good 1980s, I wanted to be the next Jackie Collins, writing fiction about the rich, sleazy and famous (with big shoulder pads).  I’ve also dabbled with other topics ranging from food & fitness to personal finance.  But, alas, no book.

More recently my book-writing desire has quietly percolated, wondering when the right topic would present itself again.

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Year End Sanity Tips

 holiday picIt’s the most wonderful time of the year and with that comes the sanity-busting items that set off your stress triggers.  You know what I mean.  There’s Mean Aunt Jean who hasn’t said anything nice to you since 1994, and the large gifts your coworkers feel obliged to give to the management staff (if you would just pony up about $40 cash, right now).

It’s enough to make you want to be the Holiday Hermit (which at times sounds like the perfect solution).

As we wrap up 2013, I want to share a few techniques/tips that can help you keep a little space in your brain so you are not a reactionary blur of inappropriate remarks or a huddled mass of sobs.

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Grateful for Gratitude


For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, for love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 As we approach Thanksgiving here in the U.S., we become more focused on the act of gratitude.  Whether it’s saying thank you or taking time to reflect upon the good things in our lives, for many people Thanksgiving is the best holiday.

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