Fifteen Fabulous, Fool-Proof De-Stressing Tips
Well, I know summer is supposed to the season of less stress – a time away from over-scheduling and killer routines; a time for vacations and kicking back...
And truly, I hope your summer is going that way.
But from my perch, I'm hearing a lot of stress, worry and agitation. People are worrying over their summer trips; about cobbling together the right combo of week-long sports camps and art camps for their kids; about getting their children ready for school, because in many parts of the country, it starts, weirdly enough, in mid-August; about seeing too much or too little of their grown kids; about having so much company coming and going, they feel like they're running an Airbnb. I've also heard a hefty amount of teeth gnashing about the summer slipping by and all those special projects waiting to be tackled... well, they're still waiting.
Now, I grant you, these are FWP's (First World Problems) of the first order, and can't hold a candle to poverty, war, famine, natural disaster and real human misery.
But often that's the nature of stress. Even when we know we're overreacting to stuff that's ridiculously trivial in the larger scheme of things, there we are - still overreacting.
So I decided it was time to assemble a new, updated list of common sense, stress management tips.
I get that nobody's going to adopt all fifteen. How stressful would that be?? But just a few of these tips can make a big difference. I suggest starting with the easiest ones to take on first – then add another. Success breeds success.
Okay, good e-news subscribers. Cindy is on the loose with yet another special perk, just for you guys. This time, aside from the free guided imagery download you already got when you signed up, you can now also get 20% off your next order. Those of you who are already subscribers will find the promo code in the special features box on the 7/22/15 e-news.
If you don't currently subscribe, she tells us, you can sign up now, and get that free guided imagery download plus the 20% off your next order*. All you have to do is sign up and confirm your subscription before the offer expires on August 5, 2015. Be sure to order using the promo code before that August 5th expiration date.
So, what's in this e-news, some might ask...
Well, every week our Health Journeys newsletter features at least one, hot off the presses summary of the findings of a mind-body research article (in user-friendly English) – so you're among the first to hear about a significant new study of guided imagery, meditation, hypnosis, biofeedback, acupressure and the like.
Well, so Cindy, Elizabeth and I have been tossing around ideas on how to further support the nearly 3,000 professional providers, clinicians and program managers on our roster, who order our stuff in quantity (and at discount) for their patients, clients and members.
This cadre of dedicated professionals has always been the treasured backbones of our whole operation, critical to our mission of getting these mind-body resources to people who need them, preferably from trusted providers who can explain what they're for and how to make the best use of them.
I remember when I still had my psychotherapy practice (individuals, families, couples and groups – for 33 years), I kept a bookcase full of books, tapes and videos of guided imagery, meditation, hypnosis, yoga, qigong and scripts. There wasn't that much at first, but I found whatever I could.
We're currently working on building a page to deliver de-stressing and sleep-facilitating guided imagery downloads for Fisher House residents.
After we finish up consulting with the staff and residents of various houses, we'll build a page just for them, where guests or staff can access links to download or stream some relaxation and stress-relieving programs, straight to their smart phones if they like.
Families away from home (sometimes for weeks or even months), visiting their sick or injured relatives, experience a lot of distress, worry and disruption, and this would be one simple but effective way to offer them some relief.
Just a quickie reminder that Cindy's insanely successful Friends and Family Sale ends on July 5th. (Yikes, how did July happen so fast?)
If I remember correctly, it offers a whopping 20% off of anything that isn't already discounted. You can find a description of this terrific special promotion here.
I also want to remind you that our 'God-free' version of the posttraumatic stress affirmations is now ready in download format, free to any trauma survivors who were triggered or distressed or offended by the affirmation that makes reference to feeling safe in the hands of God. You can get all the back story and directions on how to get the download sent to you here.
Okay, so a big thanks to our plucky, web-savvy Elizabeth Hauser (whom many of you have spoken with on the phone, especially if you're a health professional), for explaining to the rest of us what a Google Hangout on Air is. We'll now be hosting our very first live webinar on Thursday August 27th from 1-2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
This will be an open Q and A, back and forth, shoot-the-breeze, share-the-info with yours truly about any of your guided imagery questions, concerns, experiences, additions or corrections.
It's really easy to participate. The Hangout on Air platform allows for any number of attendees, who can type in questions and make comments as we roll along.
Okay, good people! Remember all that conversation, controversy and consternation about the "God Affirmation" in our posttraumatic stress audio?
For those of you who are in the dark, we had gotten an outraged email from a survivor of childhood abuse about the one affirmation in the audio program that said, "I know I am held in the hands of God and I am perfectly, utterly safe."
He was furious and said that this one line invalidated all the good the audio program had done up to the point he'd heard it. His thinking was, "Oh, really? And where was that loving, protective God when I was getting the living daylights kicked out of me?"
This wasn't the first time we'd gotten that reaction. But we've also heard innumerable positive comments and thank you's for that same line... a lot of really intense feelings about the "God word" on both sides, you could say. Our position at Health Journeys is, we just want to alleviate some suffering and whatever works is fine with us.
I just read a piece by Melissa Jeltsen in Huffington Post that reminded me of something I already knew: for all our talk about soldiers and athletes suffering from traumatic brain injury, the bulk of life-altering concussions happen to survivors of domestic violence.
I mean, really - who gets hit (or kicked) in the head more, or their brains rattled around in their skull more than women with violent partners? (Some men, too, but that's way less pervasive.)
A friend recently told me that, 6 years after her diagnosis and successful treatment for breast cancer, she's always on the lookout for signs of recurrence, especially when a check-up is looming, and she knows she'll soon be waiting for results from mammograms, scans and lab work.
She supposed that this was just the "new normal" and the way it would always be. She told me she'd manage it, just as she's managed many things. And I know she will.
But I was also reminded of a wonderful experience from maybe 18-20 years ago, at a drop-in cancer support group that was being run by two fabulous oncology nurses at University Hospitals of Cleveland.
That nasty flu that was going around over the winter seems to be enjoying a reprise this spring. Several friends and colleagues have been laid low.
So, I figure it's time to haul out the link to the terrific video that shows how a flu virus gets into your system, becomes all fruitful and multiplies, and how your amazing immune system responds. Of course, you could just take the lazy way out and listen to our Healthy Immune System Meditation, which narrates how it all happens inside of you, and by listening and experiencing this in your imagination, it pumps up the action of your immune system even further...)
But assuming you'd like to get an intellectual grasp on how this works, there's an excellent cartoon video on NPR's website that shows how this occurs at the cellular level.