I was invited to teach my Stress Management class to a group of case managers a few months ago. I have to admit, it was a thrilling moment for me. What I learned from this select group was that although they had some really unhealthy behavior patterns, they realized it themselves that afternoon in the class. Following up with them a couple months later I was pleased to discover that several were following the strategies discussed and felt a decrease in their stress. As role models, I think this is a tremendous win for all, because if the case managers feel good, they will manage their daily tasks better and this will impact their clients and peers.
Everyone has stress, it is not biased to one career path. Let’s be real – we ALL have some bad habits we would like some help with. We simply need an accountability partner to help us reach our goals; so it’s good to begin identifying what they are. And some folks have actually accepted that stress is a way of life, which it does not have to be. When you begin to recognize that you have a choice, you begin to make better choices. I’d love to help you do that! The first step is to look at what are you doing, see if it is or is not working, and then discuss how options may fit into your life.
How do you currently manage your stress? I ask all clients and students this question. The responses will vary from, “Happy hour”, “Golf”, “Yoga”, “Watching TV”, “Sex”, “Dancing”, “Family”, & “Night out with friends”. But generally they aren’t a very long list. My clients are adults and most people aren’t shy about admitting they drink to relax. Some do use exercise or other coping skills. A few will mention other people such as their friends, family or loved ones. The response of sex usually brings some laughter to the room, as it should, because any healthy adult would be enjoying consensual sex.
This is when I remind everyone that all of their responses are OK. And ask them to consider these alternate choices as well:
- Good Nutrition
- Cooking Classes
- Running Clubs
- Adventure Clubs
- Dancing Classes
- Quality Time with Pets
- Book Club
- Thai Yoga
- Yoga (whether it is Hatha, Bikram, Kundalini, Yoga Nidra or any other type)
- Thai Chi
- Essential Oils
- Learning a Musical Instrument
- Enjoying Live Music
- Laugh – A lot!
- Spiritual Centers
- Community Volunteering
I could go on and on, but I think you get a general idea from this list. We have some discussion points about the different items listed above and what is in their local area, have they ever participated in anything like that, has it helped with stress, lifted their mood, etc.
What happens is most people begin to remember the things they forgot about as choices, and for some they have new choices to begin using now in their daily life as new coping tools. Find something on the list and ask a friend to do it with you this week!
These are simple things we can do for each other. They do not require medication, it does not have to be expensive and it brings so much joy and peace to our collective world.
Won’t you try it for yourself? Please let me know how you do in the comments below.
In love and light,
Elizabeth Garland, M.S., CPLC, MNLP, CGRS, ICF Member
Founder and Personal Development Coach with Soul Nourishing, LLC
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