Talk about a buzz word!  In my opinion, the word stress is the most overused word in the English language.  Everybody is stressed out, or so it seems.  There are self-help books by the volumes, blog posts by the thousands, and doctor offices full of patients, that are dealing with the problem of stress in our lives.

We need to wake up and toss the tranquilizers.  Stress is here, and it is here to stay.  Society won’t slow down enough to allow us a chance to hop off this speeding train, so we have to learn to take it in stride and not stress about being stressed.  We can either let it get to us, or we can learn to effectively deal with it.


Personally, I don’t have a lot of time to do all of the, pamper me, kinds of things very often.  Don’t get me wrong, I would spend five days a week in the spa, if I could.  Nobody loves a massage more than I do.  My feet jump for joy, every time they are treated to a pedicure.  But, most days I have to settle for a brief sniff of the lavender soap in my bathroom.  Out of necessity, I have arrived at five things that I do every day, regardless of how busy I am.  Since I work from my home, I can’t get away from it.  These five tips are my personal de-stressors:


  1. I walk away from my office for a few minutes.  I go to some other part of the house and do something I enjoy, such as piddling in my workshop, or straightening the contents of a drawer.  Not only does it relieve my stress level, but I enjoy a sense of accomplishment from completing a simple project during my break.



  1. Call a friend.  It is very easy for me to be so focused on my work that I become a hermit.  I make a conscious effort every day to go outside or another room in my house, and call a friend.  A few minutes of friendly chatter can chase away the cares of the day.



  1. Read.  Home decorating is a hobby.  I am a home improvement magazine addict.  It is relaxing to me to sit down with one of these pretty publications and renew my creative energy.


  1. Take a shower – Do you remember the lavender soap I mentioned earlier?  I slather it all over my body and let the warm water rinse it, and my stress away.  Lavender is a healing scent.  It naturally decreases your heart rate, and relaxes you.  This is why I pass out frozen wash clothes, with lavender oil on them, at the end of my cycling classes.


  1. I stretch.  Stress will cause your muscles to contract, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and back.  Stretching will elongate the muscles, helping to relieve the stress and lactic acid that builds up throughout the day.  Stretching will also improve your flexibility, which an important component of fitness.


I’ll bet that you are thinking, “I can’t believe that a fitness professional didn’t mention exercise.”  Do you have to be reminded to brush your teeth!  Exercise is a given.  I shouldn’t have to tell you to do what you already know to do.  My purpose in writing this article is to give you a new idea or two to help you to de-stress.  Make time during each day to do something you love to do, just don’t stress about it.

For more articles on health and fitness topics, check out http://buzz.prevention.com



  1. I sleep much better if I exercise. I am 58 yrs old and in fairly shape. My job is somewhat physical but when I get home I walk about 3 miles (2 or 3 times a week)
    I have also found nutritional supplements that helps. I started taking the supplement and at first it gave me gas. I did not take it for a day or 2 then got back on it. On Tues, Aug 12, 2008 was the first night in about 25 years that I woke up only ONCE. Usually it is 4 – 6 times. You can handle stress when you get enough sleep.

    Chris Johnson

  2. Great advice Pam! Thank you for writing about this topic.

    When I’m at work I often send a document to the printer, I get up out of my chair and do high steps, grab my hands and bend over to touch my toes, and then reach up to the ceiling with my hands clasp, twist from the waist back and forth, etc. I’m surprised at how doing these little exercises reduces the stress.

  3. Great advice! Here’s what I’ll add – when I really find myself overwhelmed, I let go….I look at my list of to do’s and decide to delegate or completely release some of them. It’s a relief – and I always find that the world still keeps turning even if I’m not the one doing the work to hold it up. 🙂

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