Written by Joe Garcia

Guest Blogger today Julie Kantrowitz, MFT

Survival of the Fittest

(Stress Management During a Recession) – Part Three

Continuing with our series on (Stress Management During a Recession) last time we talked about “Turning off the News” and “Taking a hike.” Great suggestions to be able to reduce the amount of stress you can experience throughout the week. Yesterday I went on a hike after taking a couple of weeks off of an injury I recently experienced. Unfortunately because of the lack of outdoor activity I experienced I started to have projects pile up. Ugghh! Well I am glad to report that I have taken my own advice and am back on track even after a single day!! This stuff really really works. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be able to knock off things off of your “To Do List,” especially if your list like mine is constantly in the back of your head.

So it gives me great pleasure to give you this week’s blog on Stress Management. We start with a simple question.

Question: How are you? Do you have an outlet? What do you do to take care of yourself everyday?

To answer some of these questions on how to deal with stress I turned to psychotherapist Julie Kantrowitz on a few tips that we can all put into practice right away. She writes…

Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed?? Frankly these days with the economic downturn, who isn’t feeling at least a bit of extra pressure?? As a psychotherapist, my clients frequently ask me for assistance in managing anxiety.? While there are many different approaches to reducing stress, here are a few suggestions:

1.??? Breathe.? No, really breathe.? In times of stress, we tend to inhale and exhale shallowly.? Try taking a deep inhale to a count of five, then exhale, again counting to five.? Repeat for several minutes.? You should see your abdomen gently rise and fall.? This process helps you slow down, assisting in attending to what is happening now, in this moment, rather than worrying about all the ‘what-ifs’.

2.??? Share.? Many of us isolate ourselves when we are stressed, privately holding on to our concerns.? Do you have a trusted friend, colleague, partner, spiritual leader or mentor?? Find some time to open up in a safe place and be honest about how you are and what is happening in your life.? So often I find that we are our own harshest critics.? When we share ourselves with someone we value, we have both the opportunity to articulate our concerns, and if we want, to hear another viewpoint.? Encourage yourself to search for that connection.

3.??? Nurture yourself.? Create some time to take care of you.? Exercise, meditate, take a nap, watch a funny movie, or write to a friend.? Don’t over plan your day – see if you can earmark some time just for you, doing something you enjoy.

If your symptoms escalate, if you find yourself not feeling much at all, not finding pleasure in your life, using substances to escape, or just want a safe place to talk, consider consulting with a mental health professional.

Julie Kantrowitz, MFT, is a psychotherapist who specializes in working with adolescents and young adults in transition.? Additional areas of interest include grief and loss, chronic illness, parenting issues, and couples and family counseling.? She has a private practice located in Woodland Hills.? You may contact her at 818-716-9095, or at juliekantrowitzmft@hotmail.com

Thank you Julie, for great suggestions on how to manage stress. We move on to my favorite…

2. Get a Massage

What is massage?

Massage is the systematic manual application of pressure & movement to the soft tissue of the body-the skin, tendons, ligaments, fascia (the membrane surrounding muscles & muscle groups). It encourages healing by promoting the flow of blood & lymph, relieving tension, stimulating nerves, & stretching & loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.

Getting a massage. When was the last time you pampered yourself. Seems like the hardest thing to do when you need it the most. Recently there has been an increase of businesses offering affordable massages ranging from reflexology to my favorite Thai Massage. You can easily find 30, 45, and 60-minute massage at almost any of these places starting as low as $25!! How awesome is that! Even massage therapist are restructuring their businesses to cater to the person that has no money and no time.

Take time this week to find out about all of the inexpensive massage therapists in your area, you will be surprised. Massages are no longer for the rich and famous they have come to Main Street folks. We need it more than ever these days! Rejuvenate and watch your productivity hit the roof!

Visit https://www.naturalnews.com/massage for great articles on the latest news and research of the benefits of massage.

Joe Garcia is the owner of Arena Fitness in Encino, CA

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