• It is Stress Awareness Day (in the UK).  In today's hectic world, it's hard to find someone who ISN'T stressed out.   Ever have so much stress it effects your health?  A few years ago I let some mean-girl mom behavior put me in a tizzy and developed stress-induced vertigo.  We had moved from NYC to DC, I'd left my six-figure job, had a newborn and three year old, and didn't have a support system.  I dropped a Target shopping cart down the escalator (not drunk) and knew I needed help.  The only thing the doctors could offer was a voyage to the valley of the dolls. Finally, my 7th doctor figured out that caffeine was triggering inner ear fluid and making me spin out of control. I opted to become friends with decaf and exercise my way to being grounded.   Now armed with positive psychology tools, I have other ways to whoop POW life to stress less so that I'm not a hot mess!  

    SECOND-HAND STRESS.  Don't feed off other people's stress. We notice someones breath rates or that they're talking really quickly and we pick that up and mirror that.  Create a mantra when you are around people who are creating crazy.  I use - "This is not my circus and those are not my monkeys."

    UNPLUG.  Over-checking social media and emails causes stress.  There will always be more to do.  Social media sites have even been linked to digital distress -- such as inducing feelings of loneliness among users. And staying plugged in to our devices can lead to work burnout and more. If you're looking to ditch the stress, disconnect from your device every once in a while. Take a break and actually talk to a human.

     
    DEAL WITH IT.  Nothing makes those uneasy feelings stick around like avoiding what's worrying you. By not letting yourself react, you could be hurting your physical and mental health.  CONNECT TO YOUR FRIENDS REGULARLY, HIT THE WALL WITH A TOWEL, SEE A THERAPIST, OR A COACH.
     


    GET OFF YOUR BUTT.  Sitting is the new smoking.  Sitting for hours on end is as bad for the heart as smoking, a recent study found.  GET UP EVERY 50 MINUTES AND STRETCH.  USE AN APP WITH AN ALARM FOR 50 MINUTES. Garmin Vivofit is a great fit band.

     

     

    GET MORE SLEEP.  When you're tired, you feel alone. You compare and thing everyone has it better. You despair. You feel helpless. Studies show that people are more paranoid and sad when they don't get a good night's sleep. When you're tired, you're like a crazy person. Negative thoughts take over and life feels overwhelming. GET MORE SLEEP!


    LAUGH - If you  can turn a tough time into a good story, you change the narrative in your head from victim to hero.  Now, I use the buggy for a workout, doing bicep curls while I lift the cart against the barriers.  This experience is how I got a personal shopper status at Target; when a security guard greets me, I give him my shopping list.