Tag Archives: stress

The “Mini-Vacation” (and why you should take them)

26 Aug

I have to be honest: Ever since I left my full time job, I’ve pretty much been living the life. So far since I’ve been home, I’ve dyed my hair, attended a wedding, went out to dinner at least three times with my family, went to an authentic Lobster Bake on Fisher’s Island, saw Phantom of the Opera with my family and today am going to the beach with my dad for some tanning (finally). Granted, this isn’t going to last forever. Once I go back to Boston Monday it’s time to crack down on my writing and my books, but still, it’s pretty sweet.

The original plan for this week was a trip to Cape Cod for tanning, nice hotels and delicious dinners. However, the weather didn’t really cooperate, so we made do. And I couldn’t be more happy with our decision. These “mini-vacations” (I like to call them) are absolutely fabulous, especially for families, young professionals, and busy bees. Think about it: instead of taking a week off of work (or life), you can take little bits of hours here and there instead. I hear so many people complaining that they never get a vacation, and would die for a couple weeks to themselves. Well, I’m here to tell you that vacation is just around the corner, no matter how busy or chaotic your life is!

Next time you get out of work early, take your husband and kids to a nice dinner somewhere by the shore, followed by some good, authentic ice cream. Or maybe take off and go mini golfing or go-carting to change it up a bit. Have some time on your lunch break? Escape the office for a mani/pedi with your sister, your mom or even yourself! If you have a free weekend, do something crazy like taking a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod (if you’re from the North), or going for a long hike with the family. If you’re a single working gal, grab a bunch of your pals (men and women) and hit the mountains for a mini camping trip fully equipped with tents, S’mores and yummy food for the grill.

It doesn’t matter what you do. The point is that we all deserve a little vacation once in a while, and these “mini vacations” are perfect for anyone’s schedule. So clear a few hours and watch what a little trip can do for your attitude, your mind and your overall happiness!


The Healthy Chick

Stuck in a Rut? Go for a RUN!

25 Aug

This may sound strange, but years ago when I was applying to college, I began my college admission’s essay…wait for it…at the gym! Yes, while hundreds of other students put in hours at the library or glued to the computer chair, I began scribbling my essay (that got me into JMU) on the elliptical machine…with a pen and piece of scrap paper. What can I say; a light bulb hit while I was trucking along on the machine and I went with it. I’ve also thought of article ideas on long runs, have worked through job stresses by lifting weights and have tackled my way through life’s toughest decisions simply by going for a long walk.

While this may sound completely out there to you, I promise I have a point. That is that 99% of the time problems can be solved through exercise. Hear me out. Normally when we’re stuck in a rut (whether it be a deadline or a mini life crisis) we tend to shut down and fall apart. That’s how I used to handle problems in high school. If I was upset about a guy, an assignment, or a tricky decision, I’d shut down completely. I’d run into my room, slam the door and just sit there with my problems feeling sorry for myself. But let’s be serious: that gets us no where. In fact, it’s working backwards, and no one wants that.

Instead, next time you find yourself in a tricky situation, or even when you’re having one of those “brain farts,” go for a swim. Or lace up your running shoes and hit the road, even if you only go a couple miles. It’s amazing what our minds can do when we let loose and relax. And that’s exactly what exercise does for us. Not only is it beneficial for weight management and healthy hearts, but exercise is a 100% mind-clearing miracle drug. It cures problems thick and thin, whether it’s anger from your unreasonable boss or a difficult financial decision you’re not sure of. The thing is: exercise gives you all the answers you normally wouldn’t think of yourself. Whether it’s the change of environment or simply getting your body moving, all I can tell you is that it works. And boy does it work well. So I challenge you to tackle your rut the right way, the healthy way for once, and see how wonderful you’ll feel afterwards.

Feel free to share any stories or successes you’ve had by “running through a rut.”

Seven Simple Stress Tamers for the Working Woman

4 Aug

When you work 9 to 5 (or 8 to 4 or all freakin’ day long) every day, it’s inevitable that you’re going to get stressed out from time to time. With deadlines, nonstop buzzing phones, grueling assignments, and noisy coworkers, you’d have to be non-human not to let the stress monster get to you every once in a while. I know for me, I don’t let stress affect me very often, but when it hits me, it hits me reallllll hard. So what are we to do? The only places you want to be right now are your bed, the beach or on a massage table, but you’re stuck in the office for at least five more hours. Doomed? Not just yet. Use these seven simple de-stressing tips and you’ll be back to your perky, happy, stress-free self in no time!

1. Remember to Breathe: Sometimes it’s just as simple as taking a few deep breaths once in a while. Breathe in, breathe out. There you go! Feel better? If you work in a small office, where people won’t judge you, take a few moments to lay down on your back and close your eyes (think: final relaxation phase in Yoga). It feels heavenly!

2. Have a large supply of tea on hand at all times: The best thing about my office is that we have a shelf fully dedicated to tea: black tea, green tea, pomegranate green tea, breakfast teas, you name it. And even better: We have an in-house tea expert who makes his own loose leaf tea right here in the office! Lucky me got to enjoy his creations two times this week, a chai tea and a combination of Jasmine Dragon pearls and a Rooibos. Purely delicious…and if that doesn’t tame stress I don’t know what will!

3. Bring a stress ball to work: Seriously, these little stress balls work wonders! If you don’t want to buy one, you can make them with a balloon and baking flour like the good old days in Girl Scouts. Crunching up paper, punching your desk (lightly) and chewing gum also helps. Just don’t smack your lips too loudly, and never punch a coworker!

4. Remember to Eat: Sometimes, when you’re ultra stressed out, you forget to do one of the most important things: EAT! Make sure to eat a few healthy snacks throughout the day (apple with peanut butter, string cheese, fresh fruit, carrot sticks and hummus), as well as a wholesome lunch. Stuck in the office ’til God knows when? Have a few go-to eats on hand, like dried fruit and nuts, bananas, yogurt, or some whole grain bread for emergency situations (i.e. deadline change).

5. Squeeze in an afternoon gym sesh or quick walk: I know lots of people who squeeze in a quickie gym session during their lunch break instead of heading out to Panera with the rest of the crew. Why don’t you do the same? Lunch can wait ’til your desk; your wellness can’t (unless you plan on doing push ups under your chair). If you don’t have the luxury of a nearby gym, take a mini stroll outside to get some fresh air and clear your head. The other day, I was extra stressed, so I took a simple 5-minute walk outside, and when I came back I felt MUCH better and much more productive.

6. Know When to Say “No”: Of course, it’s great to take on lots of tasks and help out a coworker, but when you are drowning in work of your own, it’s OK to say N-O once in a while, politely of course. Explain that you are extremely busy with your assignments at the moment, but can help out later during the day, or find someone else who has the time (and energy) to help out.

7. Change Up Your Location: If you work in a job where you’re always sitting (like me), stand up a few times throughout the day to get the blood flowing and your mind clearing. On the run all day bouncing from appointment to appointment? Do the opposite! Sit down on that enticing park bench for a few minutes or eat your lunch at the cafe (instead of in the street) for once!

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