In this fast pace lifestyle, I often find myself overbooked, wound up, feeling catty, and ready to pop like a shaken can of Diet Dr. Pepper. So how do I cope?
Well, I’ve taken to listening to my furred, feathered and finned friends. I’m not talking about the benefits of owning a pet. Although those are great, I’m talking about the examples my pets have taught me. (Hey, they are cheaper than therapy.) Below are some stress-busters and joy-inducers that we at the Craig house try…try to live by.
* Speak up: It’s a simple trick, but one canines think humans could practice more often. It appears that we do a lot more rolling over than speaking up.
* Latch your teeth into what you want: When we’re ready to bite someone because our wants and desires are falling by the wayside, our canines advise that we latch onto our goals like a dog with a bone and refuse to give up.
* Demand a walk a day: We all know how seriously our canines take their walks. While a brisk stroll around the block may not offer the same relief to us that it gives to man’s best friend, (at least we hope not) it can work wonders on reducing stress
* Use your nose: Our dogs may prefer the smell of old shoes, but this is still one great piece of canine-derived advice. Aroma therapy isn’t just some new age hocus-pocus, so light a smell-good candle and sniff your way to being happy.
* Eat like a bird. Unlike our feathered friends, study after study has proven that we overeat when stressed. Then if you’re like me, you get stressed because you know that bag of Hershey kisses isn’t going to fit into your Weight Watchers plan.
* Sing. When a situation has us ready to screech, try singing instead. It’s amazing what a course of “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” even in September, can do for a case of the blues. (Warning, don’t do this is public.)
* Don’t be afraid to ruffle a few feathers: We can’t go around “pecking” on people, but oftentimes we don’t stand up for ourselves because we’re afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings.
* Spread your wings: How long has it been since we’ve tried something completely new? Whether it’s learning to belly dance (No, I haven’t done that yet) or taking a cooking class, widening our fields of interest is a way to chase away those empty feelings.
*Catnaps: While our feline buddies are always working on their Z’s, studies show that we are getting less sleep. While napping will not make up for sleep deprivation and we might be less catty after a bit of shuteye.
*Sunbathe: Thousands of people suffer from light deprivation commonly called, Seasonal Affective Disorder, especially in the winter months. We’re not talking about working on a tan. I haven’t ever seen a cat with a bikini line, but they do bask in the sun regularly on window sills. A few minutes enjoying a spray of sunshine can brighten our moods.
*The art of avoidance: When the door bell rings and our cat’s sixth sense tells him it’s probably our neighbor’s tail-grabbing kid, he takes a flying leap off whatever furniture he’s not supposed to be resting on and makes a mad dash under the bed. While avoidance isn’t the recommended cure for situations when standing up is a better option, there are times that we could elude stress by avoiding a situation.
*Snuggle up with someone you love: Once a cat has judged us trustworthy, he very well may be one of those felines that demand snuggling time. We shouldn’t push our cats or our significant others away. Welcome them with open arms, encourage them, follow them around and jump into their laps. Snuggling is good for the soul.
Fishing for Peace
*Water therapy: Whenever we feel like we’re drowning in our sorrows, why not try a bath? Put on some low music, add scented oils to your water or light a candle, then sink into the tub and let the soothing begin.
*Stay in schools: Schooling doesn’t even have to take place in an academic building. You can school yourself. The key is to keep learning. As Deepak Chopra, a famous stress-reducing guru and writer says, “We don’t grow old, we get old when we stop growing.”
Okay, so there are my lessons my animal buddies have taught me. What lessons have your animals taught you? Or…do you have some ideas of dealing with stress you’d like to share? Come on, don’t be shy. The contest is still going, ya know!