“Outsmart Stress!” (Demand the “Me-Time”)
Sunday, December 13, 2009

“Outsmart Stress!”
(Demand the “Me-Time”)

By Deana M. Newman, M.A., C.C.P.
TNCP Senior Health Correspondent

Economic worries, familial obligations, expectations from employers, school assignments, relationships and now holiday planning…Who has time to relax and ease the stressors of everyday life? 

You do! 

According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), stress is subjective making it difficult to define and discuss how much is too much for an individual.  In fact, some experts have stated stress can actually increase productivity by sharpening the mind - that is until a maximum level is reached and a decrease in productivity follows.  Simply, the key to relaxation is mind over matter.     

“It's about creating the experience of 'me-time' or finding time for yourself…when you feel better, you do better”, said Wendy Bradley, owner of Zo_ Life Spa & Salon in Lansing, Michigan.  “You're able to be a better caregiver for others, as well as yourself when you have more confidence and our philosophy is to create the 'me-time' experience for our customers to make them feel special and stress-free.”

With numerous daily demands on you personally, the concept of having “me-time” to reduce stress seems next to impossible.  However, when left uncontrolled, the impact of stress can really create major health hazards. 

Below is a list of the adverse effects of stress from the Mayo Clinic:
…On Your Body               
back pain           
chest pain           
heart disease           
high blood pressure       
decreased immunity       
stomach upset           
sleep problems       

… On Your Thoughts and Feelings

feeling insecure
lack of focus

…On Your Behavior

angry outbursts
drug/alcohol abuse
increased smoking
social withdrawal
crying spells
relationship conflicts
Considering the above effects, learning how to outsmart stress is  mandatory.

“Just as you would make an appointment to take your children to school, to go grocery shopping, or attend a meeting, actively making a monthly appointment at a spa for a massage and/or taking five minutes per day to clear your mind is how 'me-time' is attained”, said Bradley.  Additional ways to reduce stress include prayer/mediation, exercising, taking deep breaths and listening to relaxing music.  

This holiday season demand the “me-time” by creating a personal relaxation plan and take control of your stress levels through controlling your daily schedule.  Along with massage therapy, outsmarting stress is an important aspect of achieving health and wellness…the greatest gift you can give to your loved ones and especially yourself.  


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