Tips to Cope with Stress at the Holidays . . . and Throughout the YearApril 19, 2001
Be a revolutionary.
That's one of the suggestions Dr. Leslie Spencer has for coping with
stress. Spencer is an associate professor of Health and Exercise Science
at Rowan University, and one of her suggestions for coping with stress is
to spend time doing nothing, an idea that is revolutionary and
counterculture. Today's culture, at least in the western world, values
people who are always busy, producing, achieving. She says we should
cultivate hobbies and activities that we simply enjoy, not that include
networking or building skills for the job.
Spencer, who earned a Ph.D. in health education from Temple University
in Philadelphia, also suggests:
-- Don't just treat the symptoms but get to the source or root of the
problem. You can do breathing exercises and take a walk, which are
good for symptom relief, but you will still be stressed unless you face
and solve your problems.
-- A lot of people are too busy. Consider looking for a simple lifestyle and
seek simplicity in your lifestyle. Don't be afraid to tell your kids they can't
be involved in so many activities. Not only do kids not need to do so
many structured activities, they're stressful for them and their parents
now and they're teaching them unhealthy ways of living as they get
older. They will continue to be overtaxed and take on too much.
-- Be happy with less money, things, stuff. The more stuff we have, the
more stressed we seem to be. We feel a need to take more stressful
jobs to earn a higher income to buy more things that require more
maintenance. Sometimes the best choice is to take the job that pays
less but gives you more time.
-- Magic bullet kinds of solutions don't work. If people really want to make
some change, it will take work.