I apologize to my loyal blog readers (and blurkers) that I haven’t posted as often as usual. I have been stressed with assignments for Information Literacy and Management classes at school.
Apparently I arranged for a workshop on relaxation techniques just in time for myself (and a lot of other people too!). The program was oversubscribed and I must secretly admit that I was totally stressed about the (stress) program! The waiting list was longer than the number of people who could attend the program and it snowed the day of the program so many people were unable to make it. In the end the people that came 32/40 were really happy about the event and learned a lot. I left the event with a sense of relief even though I have to do this again for 2 more weeks! I believe that I will be much more relaxed for the next two programs!
I strongly believe that it is difficult to admit feelings of stress in public and I personally applaud anyone who came out to that workshop and who signed up for the waiting list. We all experience stress in our lives and I think many of us could learn some techniques to better cope with stress.
It was well worth my time to rethink how my own personal outlook and expectations can cause me stress, to try out Progressive Muscle Relaxation (tensing up and relaxing each and every muscle in your body) and creative visualization. Taking the time to stretch showed me just how much tension I hold in my neck! I also came to the realization that I am one of those people that feels guilty about making time for myself. It helps me to recognize this since I know that when I make time for me, I find that I am a better person not only to myself, but to others as well.
Some things we all can do to better cope with stress:
Ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, are eating nutritious balanced meals (try to avoid caffeine – I know that’s really difficult sometimes for me), getting regular exercise and taking time for leisure. Much of what the workshop discussed can be found at The Road to Well Being (a website developed by psychologists at the Department of Clinical Health Psychology, Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan).
If you are interested in learning more about this topic you might want to consider some of the following resources suggested:
The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (5th edition, 2000) by Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
The Relaxation Response (1975) by Herbert Benson. New York: Morrow.
Beyond the Relaxation Response (1984) by Herbert Benson. New York: Times Books.
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness (1990) by Jon Kabat-Zinn. New York: Delta.
Wherever You Go, There You Are (1994) by Jon Kabat-Zinn. New York: Hyperion.
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (revised edition, 1999) by David Burns. New York: Avon.
The Feeling Good Handbook (revised edition, 1999) by David Burns. New York: Plume.
Ten Days to Self-Esteem (1992) by David Burns. New York: Morrow.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff (1995) by Richard J. Carlson. New York: Hyperion.
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (revised edition, 2006) by Susan Jeffers. New York: Ballantyne Books.