All Articles Tagged "stress"

Styling Experts Solve Your Biggest Stress-Related Hair Problems

April 21st, 2015 - By LaKrishia Armour
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Stressed woman thinking

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Does your day sound anything like this?

You rush out of the house without eating breakfast. You work two extra hours because your team is ‘lean.’ You stretch your day so you can make time to socialize after work, eating fried appetizers and throwing back drinks. Or, you might scarf down a cheeseburger in record time before shuffling your kids to their evening activities. Then, you fall into bed without following your nightly hair routine. You wake the next day, rinse and repeat, and the feeling of being overwhelmed builds. Momentary stress creeps up on you and becomes daily stress.

Those seemingly small daily stresses can lead to a feeling of being burned out. Whether self-imposed, situational or even environmental, stress can leave your hair looking crazy (and make you feel even worse).

Two experts share how re-incorporating a little TLC into your busy life can help you recover from the damage that stress causes to your hair.

Pump The Breaks: Ways To Bounce Back When You’re Facing Burnout

April 16th, 2015 - By Taylor Gordon
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Do you feel pressure to always be at the top of your game at home and at work? Have you been feeling absolutely exhausted? Have you noticed it’s getting harder and harder to maintain your workaholic lifestyle?

You’re probably experiencing burnout. The daily grind has a way of doing it to you when you don’t take a second to pump the breaks. Read on to find out ways to bounce back.

That One Time I Had Shingles

April 3rd, 2015 - By Kendra Koger
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That One Time I Had Shingles

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Around the time that I started my Musiq Soulchild workout plan, I decided to try to cultivate a more healthy lifestyle.  I decided to start eating better and taking vitamins.  So one morning while I was in the vitamin section at Walmart I saw that they had a sale on those gummy vitamins (you know, the ones where on the commercial people are jumping on them like trampolines).  I got excited and was like:  “I want trampoline vitamins!” and bought the discount supplements.

After about four days of taking them I realized I was developing a rash on the left side of my face.  Even though I used my best zip zapping remedies, the left side of my face just got more inflamed, and painful with each day.  Finally, I realized I couldn’t take it anymore and went to Urgicare.  As I got dressed my mind raced with:  “What could be causing this?” and my eyes fell on my gummy vitamins and I immediately felt betrayed.

I grabbed the jar, sat in Urgicare with my four year old bouncing next to me, and avoided eye contact with anyone who would look at my inflamed disfigurement.

After the doctor examined me, and though I presented the bottle of offending gummies, I was in a for rude awakening.

“You’re not having an allergic reaction.  You have shingles.”

“What?!  The old people’s disease?!”

Yes, disgusted readers, after two more doctors checked me out, it was unanimous.  I, a woman still in my twenties, had developed shingles (a disease that is usually advertised for people 55 and older).

After getting enough pills to make me feel like Elvis, and tons of paperwork to read about it, I discovered that shingles (“SHINGLES?!”) can develop from a weakened immune system (usually by having leukemia, HIV or stress).

As the blisters on my face turned into scabs, I made countless doctors’ appointments, to get tested, blood drawn, and inserted into any machine to tell me what was wrong.

After about losing a pint of blood, many examinations and a few weeks of waiting for all the results I learned that I didn’t have anything.  My shingles were caused by stress.

What I guess I should have mentioned earlier was that around the time I started my new workout regimen I was personally dealing with a few deaths of people around me.  I was put in a position of acknowledging my own mortality, and trying to do the best that I could to ensure a good future for not only myself, but for my daughter.

I had a lot of sleepless nights wondering:  “What if?” and trying to figure out if I was making the right steps.

All that stress culminated in me getting shingles.  That’s when I realized my folly.  I was spending so much time worrying about my future that I wasn’t enjoying my present.  Each day was used to fixate on my past, worry about my future, and being a spectator in my current life.

Two things came from my weeks of having shingles (“SHINGLES?!”).  The first was the knowledge that I needed to RELAX!  I eliminated a lot of unnecessary stressors and I haven’t been happier. Life is too short to spend it worrying about everything.  I now have a better sense of perspective.  My drive is still the same, but I’m not so stressed about things I can’t control.

The second thing that developed from this is that I now have a few scars on my face from the whole ordeal.  I thought about getting a few cosmetic creams to lighten the appearance of scars, but I decided to keep them for now, as a reminder to myself of what could happen anytime I begin to become stressed out.

My complexion isn’t as clear as it used to be, but I’ll always cherish these few reminders to enjoy each day and remember that stress is nothing but damaging.

Ways To Live A More Peaceful Life Instead Of A Stressful One

March 27th, 2015 - By Opal Stacie
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We tend to have misconceptions about what is readily available to us to help when it comes to dealing with a brain that won’t stop thinking or stressing over absolutely everything. But using any of the solutions on this list will help you find a sense of peace even in the most chaotic places. The trick to lasting peace, however, will take a bit more time and commitment. This isn’t your traditional, “find peace with Yoga and meditation” article. Nope! Instead, we believe that making simple lifestyle changes will go a long way in helping you feel less stressed. Most of these methods are scientifically proven to boost your mood and improve your quality of life, and I personally use quite a few of them as a way to find peace in my own life.

Money On My Mind! The #1 Stress For Women Is Money

February 5th, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Most Americans have lots of stresses, but the number one turns out to be money. And despite the country’s economic turnaround, financial woes are still what’s most on our minds.

According to a new survey by the American Psychological Association called “Stress in America,” a whopping 72 percent of adults say they are stressed out about money at least some of the time in 2014. Another 22 percent responded that they have extreme stress about money.

Women worry more about money than anyone else. In fact, it has kept more women up at night than men. An incredible 51 percent of women say they lay awake at night worrying about money, versus 32 percent of men.

The main triggers for money stresses include paying for unexpected expenses, paying for essentials, and saving for retirement. Basically, handing over money for stuff.

Only wealthy Baby Boomers seem to be immune from such money stress. Everyone else — from parents to millennials to Gen X-ers and lower-income households (with less than $50,000 per year) — expend lots of brain power on financial concerns.

And all this stress is affecting our health. “Parents are more likely than nonparents to report engaging in unhealthy stress-management techniques, such as drinking alcohol and smoking,” reports Yahoo.

Lack of money also kept 32 percent of adults from living a healthy lifestyle and 12 percent report say they even cut out doctor  visits because of financial concerns. Chronic stress is nothing to take lightly, it can lead to high blood pressure, ulcers, irritable bowl syndrome, headaches, and depression.

The stats may seem depressing but actually stress is trending downward, with lower overall levels currently than in 2007.

How worried are you about money?

Ask Dr. Renee: Depression Is Real

January 2nd, 2015 - By Dr. Renee Matthews
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Depression Is Real

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In the last year we have heard more and more about Black women committing suicide. The first person that shocked us was Karyn Washington the creator of ForBrownGirls.com committed suicide at age 22. Then a few months ago Simone Battle committed suicide at age 25, she was on “X Factor” and in the pop group G.R.L. And then December 4, Titi Branch committed suicide at age 45, she was one half of the Miss Jessie’s hair empire. Although details of this most recent incident have not been released, it is important to know that mental illness is real and should not be ignored. It is very important if you are feeling down for an extended period of time that you seek help. Let’s admit we all get down for a day or two but if that turns into a week or more you need to seek professional help.

This time of year can be particularly hard for people who are single, have recently lost a loved one, or perhaps they are having financial hardships this holiday season. It is very important, if you can, to check on someone who you know may be alone this holiday season. Another suggestion would be invite any people you know are without family this season, to your family for the weekend to make certain they are not alone during the holidays. Here are some more tips to help prevent the holiday blues.

It is always best to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past. If that is not possible please try some of these helpful tips.

Express your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season. But try to set a time limit on those tears. If you try to find one thing to be grateful a day more things will come and you will one day realize you are no longer sad.

Help others: If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. It is amazing how helping others will help you in return and maybe even more than the people you were helping.

Be Realistic: The holidays don’t have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can’t come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videos. Be open to change and realize that it is inevitable.

Love your family: Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all of your expectations. Set aside any arguments, differences until a more appropriate time for discussion. The dinner table is not the time to bring up conflict in the family nor verbally attack a family member. Be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they’re feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.

Don’t overspend. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don’t try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts.

Try these alternatives:

• Donate to a charity in someone’s name.
• Give homemade gifts. (cookies, cakes, bath soaps etc.)
• Start a family gift exchange.

Make a list and check it twice. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That’ll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.

Don’t be a people pleaser. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. If it’s not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.

Stay healthy, don’t forget to workout. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.

Try these suggestions:

• Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don’t go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks.
• Get plenty of sleep.
• Incorporate regular physical activity into each day.

Relax, relate, release. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.

Some options may include:
• Taking a walk at night and stargazing.
• Listening to soothing music.
• Getting a massage.
• Reading a book.

Seek professional help if you need it. You may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Please never be ashamed to seek help. The Crisis Call Center is available 24 hours a day (800)273-8255.

Depression Is Real

Source: Ask Dr. Renee

Dr. Renee Matthews has appeared on television shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and WGN’s “People to People”  where she discussed different health topics. She started her media career with her own radio show on ReachMD, a programming source for health professionals. In addition Dr. Renee has been a featured medical correspondent on Sirius XM’s “Sway in the Morning.” 

Dr. Renee earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005. She spent the early part of her medical career as an educator for numerous hospitals and attending staff on cord blood. 

Twitter: @AskDrRenee

Facebook.com/AskDrRenee

How To Apply Workplace Professionalism To Stressful Holiday Situations

December 16th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Holiday/Christmas stress

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If the holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time of year, why do folks test your patience? Have you ever been shopping and experienced the most ugly of attitudes? Instead of getting caught up in nonsense, make the decision to keep your calm and continue with your endeavors. Here are some tips on how to apply your professionalism to stressful holiday situations.

Are You Guilty? Top Stresses We Bring On Ourselves

November 26th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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When it comes to stress in your life, how do you manage it? Are you someone who can take things in stride, or do you freak out over the littlest of things? Sooner or later it’s important to realize the more you harp on a situation, the greater the damage you cause yourself. Check out these common stresses we bring on ourselves.

Tips To Keep Business Pressures & Problems From Overwhelming You

November 20th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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On November 11, Renee Mancino, who for years owned Carrot Top Bakery in Washington Heights, shot herself in the head in front of her husband and business partner, Bob, amid health complications and the possibility of losing her storefront, reports The New York Post. It appears the beloved NYC bakery owner felt so overwhelmed, she chose suicide.

Mancino, 66, who had her bakery in the same location for 31 years was in the midst of heated rent negotiations with her landlord; her monthly rent could have risen to $15,000. Her husband said the stress was just too much for his wife.

Like Mancino, many people get so stressed out over business situations that things seem helpless. In fact, according to Missouri Department of Mental Health, businesspeople and professional are in the high risk group for suicide. “The pressures to succeed and disillusionment over unfulfilled dreams place business people and professionals at risk,” states a report by the department’s Division of Comprehensive Psychiatric Services.

“Business/financial PTSD is a big issue for entrepreneurs. To cope they must be strong mentally, physically, and spiritually. This requires being proactive and developing strength before the cliff is in front of you,” explains executive trainer Hasani X. “Because that’s what it feels like. It’s like being on a cliff 24/7. That’s bad enough, but when things really get bad you feel like you have no safety harness, no ropes, and no way out.”

And sometimes it is difficult to extract yourself from the situation, but that’s something you need to do. If you see you are being pushed to the edge mentally due to stress at work, “be honest, admit you need help, create a plan to reduce the root causes, and  recognize that stress can be deadly, ” executive coach Farrah Parker explains to MadameNoire.

There are steps to take before things spiral out of control.

Focus on yourself: “Deposit more into yourself daily so that you become stronger. This will fortify you against stress and pressure. Think, meditation, exercise, connecting to purpose, and doing enjoyable things as Teflon to a nonstick pan. Nothing can stick to you,” suggests Hasani X. “Have an outlet that focuses on physical and emotional health. Whether it’s a brisk outdoor walk, yoga, or kickboxing, find a physical activity that provides solace while simultaneously improving your health,” adds Parker.

Be prepared for a crisis: “Setup rehearsed responses to stressful triggers. Psychological studies have proven that the mind can’t tell real from imagined experiences. So use this to your benefit. Use what I call Perfect Practice Therapy. Imagine the stressful scenario, but imagine yourself having a perfect response. Meaning, no stress, no fear, no worry,” says Hasani X.

Examine the stress: “Tackle the source of the stress. Strategically identify the root cause and diplomatically address it. If you feel your boss has placed too much on your plate, write an email outlining your current responsibilities and stress your commitment to doing a good job. Then carefully outline how you are unable to thoroughly meet the demands without sacrificing quality,” offers Parker.

Learn to let go: If your business is in ruins, take a hard look at the situation and future. If you have to let go, let go.  “Take an honest assessment. Decide if your business is salvageable or needs to close. It’s never too late to start fresh,” concludes Parker.

If you are unable to handle the stress, reach out for professional help, talk to a trusted confidant or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Don’t bottle those feelings inside.

How My Daughter’s Book Helped Me Get Through A Rough Patch

October 17th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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How My Daughter's Book Helped Me Get Through A Rough Patch

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During idle days, my daughter and I like to walk down to the nearby thrift store and stock up on books.  Now, I’m not going to lie, not every time is a great one.  Sometimes we’ve came back with some duds, but for the most part we’re able to find some great books (including a bunch of “Goosebumps” books that I cannot wait to give her when she gets older).

After one mouth-wateringly (yes, I made that word up) great trip, we came back with about three bags of books and three board games (because, why not?), and immediately dumped them on my bed when we got home to really dig into them.  After reading about two or three duds, we came across:  “Jenna and the Troublemaker.”

The first time we read it, my mind wandered the entire time, thinking about what to cook, what I had left to do that day, and how lucky I was to get a “Sex and the City” trivia game for only $2 (it was still wrapped in plastic!  Score!).

When I finished the book, I placed it on our pile, and then left to fix us something to eat.

It wasn’t until a few months later that the book came back up in the rotation during a time that I really needed.

Sometimes life hits you hard, and that’s what I was going through then.  Things weren’t extremely horrible, but it was a difficult time nonetheless.  However, no matter how bad things get, there are no off-days for responsibilities, especially parenting.  So, when it was our reading time, and I picked the book up I wasn’t expecting it to touch me the way that it did.

“Jenna and the Troublemaker” is about an androgynous figure who creates troubles and delivers them to people (thus making him a “Troublemaker”).  While making a delivery he comes across a little girl named Jenna who is crying about how hard her life is due to the troubles that he keeps on bringing her.

To make her feel better he tells her to pack up all of her troubles and he invites her to come to his field of “troubles,” so she can trade her bag with someone else’s.

As Jenna goes through each bag, it seems to get worse and worse until she finally finds a bag that she can handle.  She takes it home, unknowing that (SPOILER) the troubles she picked were the ones she initially brought.

While reading, I didn’t realize that I was beginning to get choked up.  As my daughter started playing with her Spongebob pillow, completely oblivious to my moment of clarity, I was still looking down at the book.  I was caught off guard as to how ten cents bought me so much perspective.

Even though things might not have been perfect in my life at that time, the book reminded me that things could always get worse.  It also encouraged me to look a little more objectively at any trouble that comes my way, and know that not only is it temporary, but it’s also something that I can handle.

So to you, dear reader, if things aren’t going as great as you’d hoped, or your life is veering off your planned course, know that as horrible as it might feel now, it could be worse.  Instead of looking at the perceived notion that other people’s lives are better than yours, focus on doing what you can to help you lighten your own load.  At the end of the day, you might not like the troubles that are handed to you, but if you had the chance to trade, you’d probably still pick your own.

 

Kendra Koger doesn’t create trouble, but she does tweet @kkoger.