Finding The Right Stress Management Tool
Brooke Randolph, LMHC
It was about 8:50pm the other evening when I left the office. I started my commute home, sitting in silence for a while to decompress. My mind was not turning off quickly, so I distracted myself with an audio book. I started deep, diaphragmatic breathing, focusing on how physical calm lapped like waves on a beach as I breathed in and out. After I arrived home, I let the dog out, changed into comfy clothes, let the dog in, and cuddled with my Big Blue Dog
. (Nothing feels better than the pure excitement of a loving pet
when you come home.) We played in the living room for a while before I spent time catching up with my brother. What do you do to manage stress after a long day?
Don't get me wrong, I had a good day. I enjoy teaching Adoption Preparation Education
courses for MLJ Adoptions, Inc. I am pretty passionate about helping parents prepare
to welcome a child into their home through adoption, which is probably why I allow classes to go late so everyone's questions can be answered. It is simply exhausting, probably because I am passionate, to convey so much information in a short period of time and try to ensure that every individual in the room is understanding it fully. This week I had several new students, so I had a lot of information to integrate, although it was nothing like the information my clients had to consider. As our class about the stress of the adoption process ended, I encouraged everyone to practicestress management techniques
that evening. Teaching these courses are eustress for me, not distress. I enjoy it, and I am constantly becoming a better teacher. Even if I am not experiencing distress, I still need to recover from the stressor.
How do you transition and/or decompress after a long day?
Does your family feel the impact of your workday when you arrive home? Do you know how to induce physical calm for yourself? Stress management
is a skill that you can practice and improve on just like riding a bike or making an omelette (I’m up to about a 50 percent success rate on that one). The important thing is to practice, practice, practice
. Pay attention when you are doing things that make you feel more calm. Pay attention to how you feel when you do them, then do those things more often. Sitting in silence seemed like a good idea, but when I paid attention to how I felt, I knew I need distraction more than silence. It helps to have more than a few stress management tools in your tool box.
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