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Relax

November 21, 2006

I’ve got stress in my life… I mean really, don’t we all? My job is frustrating me… honestly my boss… but don’t want to get into detail here, my boyfriend is 4 hours + away and I don’t know when I can see him again, I need to learn how to save money better, I’m preparing for a major life change (another, luckily of the positive kind this time around) in 5 months (no details yet… need to wait till its more official), I’ve got some issues with a friend who doesn’t realize it and to top it all off its still an everyday event in my head dealing with my father’s death.

I run circles in my head thinking of all of this, something will generally set it off… I check work emails at home and get a frustrating response or see something that pisses me off and then its just a downward spiral into frustration, anger, sadness, stress… you get the gist. It just stews… it sits in my body and stews all the stress all the everyday shit mixed in with overarching issues… and it doesn’t make anything good.

Two weeks ago they sent around an email about stress management, we could log on to our BCBSMa site and take a survey about our stress level and get entered to win a shopping spree. I of course did it. At the end it told me I had some stress, oh really? It give me some guidance and offered an easy PMR exercise to utilize. Being a bit bored, and frustrated with my job so procrastination had set in, I copied the advice into a power point, made it pink and put in against the background of a picture I’d taken of our Hydrangea bush this summer. I printed it out on the color copier and took it home, I was sure to use it now that I’d made it pretty.

So, back to the stewing. As I sat here, reading other blogs, preparing a blog about my work frustrations- which are what set off the stress cycle tonight- and getting ready to really nail home a beast of a blog… I saw the pretty piece of paper with pink typing.

I just went through the PMR cycle… and I must say… it worked. I am so relaxed, even writing about all the things that stress me out didn’t take away the relaxation… and in my go go go attitude I didn’t even do it for as long as they suggest.

I’ll admit, as I near the end of the blog I’m getting a little anxious again about all the thoughts that are still floating in my head, but now I’m a believer… I can relax and this can help.

If you’re interested… here it is:

Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. We rcommend closing your eyes while doing PMR. Here are the simple steps for each muscle group, starting at your head and moving down to your feet.
Take a few slow, deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Tighten the muscle groups in the order below, holding each for five seconds. Really feel the tension. Then, silently say, “Relax. Let it go.” as you quickly relax the muscles and let go of the tension. Relax for 15 seconds. Then go on to the next muscle group and repeat the steps.

Forehead: wrinkle forehead

Face: frown, squeeze eyes shut, tighten cheeks

Mouth: open your mouth as wide as you can, tightening the jaw

Neck: turn left, turn right, then tilt chin down to chest

Chest: push chest out, shoulders back

Stomach: breathe in, then tighten stomach muscles

Back: arch your back, pushing shoulder blades together

Arms and hands: make fists then flex your bicep muscles

Buttocks and thighs: squeeze and tighten

Legs and feet: straighten legs out, curling toes down and away

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