From Dr. Jane's Notebook
Stress Management Revisited
September is one of the scariest months of all. Just as we begin to relax in August, we
are hurled into the whirlwind tour of Autumn with only the warning of Labor Day. Talk
about a rude awakening. But alas, there must be some way to preserve the state of
relaxation of summer, atleast for a while longer if we really try. And so, I offer these
tips for your consideration.
- Choose one day each week for your Mental Health Day. Mine is Saturday.
On Saturdays, I sleep late and refuse to make decisions. Its my day to recharge my battery
and replenish my energy for the week to come. When I don't get this needed time out, I
feel exhausted on Mondays, instead of refreshed. Think about your personal recipe for
relaxation and declare your own weekly Mental Health Day!
- 2. Write everything down on a calendar. Unburden your mind from the
constant task of remembering. It is a strain to keep so much on the brain! We can only
hold a limited number of items in the forefront of our minds before we begin forgetting
things or filing them away in "long term storage". Forcing yourself to remember
"things to do" is draining, and sets you up for failure once it slips your mind.
Likewise, keep a notepad by your bed so that "things to remember" don't
interfere with your sleep.
- Exercise to relax. Stress from the day tends to build up in our
muscles. Muscle tension develops slowly in response to all kinds of events. Some people
are tense from the moment they wake up in the morning. Others develop tension from things
that happen on the job. Tense muscles are more likely to be injured, contribute to
irritability, and affect our overall sense of well-being. Exercising reduces muscle
tension and helps us cope with stressful events. Be sure to build it into your daily
- Get organized, not frantic. Even in the midst of September rush, give
yourself permission to be late if necessary, but arrive safely. Our world, which is more
and more hurried, will simply have to be more tolerant. As our lives become more complex,
we have to defend ourselves against excess stress. When we become stressed out, our work,
families and our relationships suffer.
I've always loved the play title, "Stop the World, I want to get off".
Indeed, this is a common feeling. If we are to survive the stress and prevent the urge to
escape, we will have to practice preventive Mental Health. As your world gets back to
normal this month... as you begin to pack your calendar with all kinds of schedules...
remember to take time for yourself!
ęCopyright, 1992, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.
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Last Updated November 1, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon,