Relieving Stress Outside the Box – A Challenge!

A colleague of mine inspired me to think outside the Blog box the other day. An inconsistent (at best), erratic (at worst) blogger, I only seem to write when I really believe I have something really new or interesting to discuss and I feel inspired – in other words, when all the stars and planets are properly aligned (approximately, semi-annually).

Well, today I felt inspired, and the topic is stress relief. I’m not going to expand on all the advice you have already heard: “Take regular breaks during the day,” “Get plenty of sleep,” “exercise regularly,” “Stretch often” “Eat properly… ” because, well, we all know this stuff by heart; we just have to commit to doing it. I love all this traditional advice and do follow it regularly myself – its all good!

However, I’d like to take stress relief to the next level if you will indulge me. This subject matter did not occur to me until after a very long work day while I was sitting next to my husband on the sofa watching the evening news with the fireplace on—I don’t know where you are reading this from, but here in the lovely Philadelphia, PA suburbs it is a balmy 38 degrees as I write. My eyes were drawn to my beloved tabby cat, Elvis, who was sprawled out on his “purr pad” in front of the fireplace; extremities outstretched, eyes closed, with the most contented look on his furry little face. It made me smile. It warmed my heart. And I just felt all the stress of the day melt away.

Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

If you are my “friend” on Facebook, you will be subjected to my 2 biggest obsessions: travel (most often the type that involves scuba diving) and my cats. I keep this life separate from my “professional” image on LinkedIn. I realize that my clients and colleagues mostly could care less about these things on a professional level, and my “friends” do not want to be inundated with “news” about my business. They know I write resumes. They have my phone number if they need one. This dichotomy works for me. I encourage you, too, to find an outlet for your favorite stress relief that lives in a separate compartment from your professional life where you don’t need to worry about your “image.”

For many of you, that may be your children, grandchildren, significant other, hobby, pet, etc. Whatever it is, identify it; embrace it; indulge it! For me, I de-stress around cats. Though I only have 2 of my own (limitation imposed by my spouse), I have volunteered at a local shelter for years where I can happily spend hours at a time purring away my troubles with 50+ felines.

Another Confession…

Several years ago I was having drinks with some friends at a public watering hole when someone started a challenge to go around in a circle and each name our favorite “guilty pleasure.” Enough cocktails had been consumed at this point that all defenses were down  and only the truth came out. You would not believe how funny this was, everyone being perfectly honest about their secret  obsessions that the rest of us knew nothing about. My memorable confession that night was that yes, gulp, I actually had a Bee Gees song on my iPod. There, I said it. Judge me if you will, but my ultimate escape involves dancing with my cats to “Nights on Broadway” (though the cats think they are singing about “Mice on Broadway”).

The Challenge

I have to say that this is the stuff stress relief is made of. Stretching is fine, but if you really want to relax, find time to indulge in your guilty pleasures—embrace your crazy side! I dare you to respond with your own here—c’mon, we all have them and confession is good for the soul—don’t leave me out here on the disco floor all by myself!

 

Comments

  1. Judy – STRESS?? Who needs it?! OK, OK, I’m calm now …
    Your Elvis, my Abby … pets can be a wonderful diversion. In my world, music fits the bill, too. I have a wonderful, handmade Routen guitar, and when I accompany myself on it, my tension melts away. [See full description in my earliest job listing on my LI profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/debraoreilly/%5D. Which reminds me … I need new strings! Off to the guitar store!

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