Thursday, July 9, 2009

Stress Busters and Staycations

Reading Sue's blog from earlier this week got me thinking... I am glad that she is asking for some advice. There are many women out there who feel challenged or stressed by obstacles and part of our problem is that we have a tough time asking for help- especially those women who are used to taking care of others. Sue, I will call you tonight or tomorrow to see how things went, but, I hope you know you can always pick up the phone and call me even if it is just to talk it out.

Sometimes, rather than giving or getting advice,listening can be even more valuable. I also found this great article in Reader's Digest that offers 79 Instant Stress Busters that anyone can easily do. They include everything from buying yourself some purple lisianthus and light blue or green hydrangea, a flower that has a calming effect, to drinking some cool water and going for a walk.

Now, don't misunderstand me, I don't mean to belittle what Sue is going through as normal stress that can be solved all that quickly. Sometimes life throws us a punch that nearly anyone who would normally keep it together might need to ask for help and taking care of a sick parent is one of those things... In fact, the article states, that a sick family member is one of the top 10 stressors, but, doing a number of these things in times of stress can help.

What am I doing to relieve stress this week? I am on staycation with my husband. Like many in this economy, our costs have been rising due to the ripple effect. Fortunately, my husband and I are still both working, but, we realized a vacation might not be the best thing for us right now financially. We still needed a break, so I took some time off and we are taking the time to do some things we normally wouldn't do in our own city without the added cost of travel and hotel.

We have eaten at restaurants more than we usually would. We have taken in some tourist attractions, a movie at the theater(something we only do every couple months), went to the beach, road our bikes, and generally relaxed. I also purchased a book about cheap ways to enjoy Chicago that gave me some tips for free, sometimes free or discounted activities. Now, I know not everyone lives in a big city, but, if you take time to do research on the place where you live, I am sure you will find something you might not have thought of before.

Taking time for yourself is important, because if stress builds up, you could end up being in a far worse predicament with your health. It can also help your relationships and even your approach to work once you return. Hope everyone is taking time to enjoy their summer where you are and taking time to let go of a little of your stress. Feel free to share how you do it!

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