Monday, March 30, 2009

Stress and the City

I am not sure if it is the changing of the seasons, the AIG bonus controversy, or the inaccessible cure to spring fever, but everyone in my life seems to have been exceedingly stressed out the last few weeks. It is also true that Joseph Stalin has been yelling extra loudly in my mind these last few weeks, probably because I keep trying to silence him with these healthy stress-relieving activities:

1. Yoga. I once dated a man who asked of my devotion to yoga, "Isn't it just stretching and stuff." Needless to say, it was my devotion to him that eventually dwindled. Whether you try Vinyasa, Kundalini, Bikram (otherwise known as "the HOT yoga" - the room is kept at 104 degrees), or others, this practice makes you, well, calm. As a Type A, caffeine-addict whose mind races every minute, holding poses and doing a bunch of breathing seemed too slow, too boring, too Shirley McClaine. I was wrong. The best part? Joseph Stalin is banned at every yoga studio.

2. Clubs. Getting involved in extra-curricular activities can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether your interest is an outdoor kickball league or you prefer to show off your inner literary theorist at a book club, activities beyond the 9 to 5 grind can greatly reduce your stress. In fact, new moms in the New York area should take advantage of opportunities to focus on themselves with MeTime events, an organization devoted to providing activities to new moms that are NOT baby related - great stress relief. Click on the link for information on the upcoming Mixology for Moms event in April!

3. Find Perspective. In a past life, I found myself having to work at a hospital on the Pediatric burn unit. I remember seeing a boy, about 5 years old, with half of his face burned off, and as I walked by his room, he smiled and waved at me. It is human nature to fall into our own minds and focus on our discomforts, our pains, but often times, hearing the plights of others can serve as a reminder that others suffer around us and it behooves us to recall the good things we have and how much we should be grateful for. For a quick reality check, I recommend going to Post Secret, a website that publishes postcards sent in from anonymous individuals confessing secrets that haunt them.

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