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Stress and the Professional Woman

I have a confession to make. We’ve known each other for a while, so I feel like I can be honest with my fellow Divas. One of the primary reasons I decided to start the Martini Chronicles was to relieve stress. There, I said it! The truth is that being a professional and dealing with the everyday ups and downs of Corporate America usually brings unintended and unwanted stress. Not good! Stress can have negative effects on your physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, chronic stress can trigger headaches, chest pain, and elevated blood pressure. Additionally, stress can be attributed to insomnia and alcohol/substance abuse, as well as physical aches and pains. For professional women of child-bearing age, like me, stress can also be a contributing factor in infertility.

Needless to say, it is imperative that professional women find ways to avoid and relieve the daily stress we encounter, both at home and in the work place. In the spirit of sharing, as always, I wanted to share some of the ways I have chosen to deal with stress (as well as some that I intend to try). My hope is that at least one of these stress-relievers will help you. If you have other suggestions, please share!

1. Write It Out! – Starting the Martini Chronicles has been so therapeutic! The practice of writing my feelings down on paper has allowed me to express, in words, those things that bother me, or worry me, or stress me. Also, because I am determined to share the most current and accurate information with my readers and followers, the Chronicles have forced me to research some of these bothersome issues and learn more about them (i.e. stress). All in all, writing has given me an outlet to express myself and relieve some stress. Try it!

2. Walk It Out! – Right outside my house, there is a huge park…complete with walking trails, a track, an ice skating rink, a pond, and ducks! Moreover, this park is absolutely beautiful in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. During these times, I strap up my beloved dog and my trusty iPod, and I go walking in the park. There’s something relaxing about nature that relieves my stress; that and the tunes playing on my iPod. Strangely, I get my best ideas when I’m walking in the park…like the idea for this post!

3. Work It Out! – It is a scientific fact that exercising releases endorphins, which triggers feeling of happiness and well being. Happiness is a great way to relieve stress! And you’d be really happy when you fit into a smaller dress size as a result of all the exercise. Remember, any type of exercise will do…running, walking, cycling, dancing, weight lifting, etc.

4. Soak It Out! – Grab your favorite bubble bath, pour it in warm, running bath water, get in the bath, and…that’s it! Do nothing! Just sit in a warm bubble bath, and relax away your stress. Want to bump it up a notch? Before getting in the bath, light a few scented candles, dim the lights, and turn on some soothing music. Don’t forget your eye mask and a towel to rest your head on while soaking.

5. Yoga It Out! – Sign up for a yoga class. I haven’t done so yet, but I’m thinking about it! My fellow Divas who have taken yoga rave about its relaxation and meditative properties. They all have said that doing yoga 2 to 3 times a week have improved their flexibility, and have also managed to help them clear their heads. Perfect! I think it’s worth a try!

6. Drive It Out! – Sometimes, a nice long drive may help to relieve stress. Now I’m not talking about driving during rush hour in New York City traffic; take a drive outside of a major city on a country or back road with the windows open (weather permitting). Pop in your favorite CD, or listen to the sound of the wind whipping through your hair. Either way, relax and drive your stress away. Remember to abide by the speed limit and all traffic laws (the lawyer in me made me say it).

When all is said and done, you have to take care of yourself. If you are all stressed out and mentally and emotionally frazzled, you are no good to yourself or others. I now recognize the importance of distressing….so I’m working on it. I’ll let you know how it goes!


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