Stress Relief

29 Feb

12 easy ways you can provide stress relief for a loved one (or patient)

It’s Leap Day, and if you saw last week’s 30 Rock episode, you know what that means. Today’s a day to “take a leap” and do something out of the norm.

So I’m going to get MAD. Yeah, you heard me. There’s not much that makes me really angry, at least not enough to publicly address it. But today’s your lucky Leap Day…

Ready?

I believe there’s a special place in hell for people who suggest that a problem could be stress related.

What if the problem isn’t stress related at all? You’ve just compounded the problem because, guess what? Even the least neurotic person in the world will likely experience stress by simply thinking they could be stressed.

And it’s even worse for people who are stressed. “Thanks for piling one more worry on the pile, buddy. I’ll get right on that.”

If you’re a spouse, friend, or parent making this speculation, why not try one of these stress-relieving ideas instead?

  • Surprise them with a special night doing something they love.
  • Offer to help with something you know causes them anxiety.
  • Pack a picnic lunch of stress-busting super foods, like tuna, asparagus, blueberries, almonds, and cottage cheese.
  • Come up with an excuse to let them sleep in.
  • Give them a spa gift certificate “just because.”
  • Ask them to join you for some physical activity, like yoga, a hike, or even just a walk.
  • Randomly call them up or send or a card.

Doctors, let’s face it: You’re some of the biggest offenders on this one. Instead of doling out a haphazard and (completely unscientific) prognoses of “possibly stress,” why not ask questions like:

  • When was the last time you enjoyed some time to yourself?
  • What do you like to do?
  • Have any vacation plans coming up?
  • How do you handle things that make you feel annoyed or anxious?
  • Is there anything you want to talk about?

Not only do you avoid the “S” word, but you also get to the heart of the manner (what’s stressing them out) while learning about their triggers and coping mechanisms. Wouldn’t that provide much more helpful information for both you and your patient?

These are just some of the MANY ideas you can try to help someone affected by stress. What else have you found that’s helped?

Or better yet, what makes you mad? Maybe you should take this Leap Day opportunity to vent, too. Who knows? Maybe it will relieve some of your own stress.

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