All Articles Tagged "stress"

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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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.

 

14 Habits To Help You Let Go And Move On

October 15th, 2014 - By Kendra Koger
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Life can be tricky sometimes.  Sometimes you want to progress, but you find yourself stuck in rut.  You don’t know what’s wrong, or why you can’t move forward, but it’s not happening in the way that you want it to.  Well, here are 14 things that could be hindering your progress.

9 Ways To Add More Years To Your Life

August 6th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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Life can be one stressful journey, especially on the job. There are days when we’re excited and others that make us want to cry. And let’s not forget about how our actions that have an impact on our health. Like stress poor choices can zap our bodies and even cause medical issues down the road. The time has come to make a few changes. Here are some interesting ways how you can add more years to your life.

How To Keep From Falling Apart

July 23rd, 2014 - By Dee Rene
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Life happens when you least expect it and all of a sudden your world is upside down. We often face the big things back-to-back and right when you can’t take another thing, the small things come too. Your contacts rip or you lose your wallet and it all starts to feel like quick sand. You can’t find relief and every move you make only seems to bring you deeper in the pit. Even in the midst of turmoil, you can still keep it together and not fall apart.

  1. Take a nap & Breathe

We sit up sometimes losing sleep and not eating worried about things we can’t change by worrying about them. Sometimes the solution is to take some deep breaths and take a nap. The problem is going to be there when you wake up but sometimes you have to step back, relax, and face it when you are rested. It’s not avoiding your problems to know when you can’t handle something at the moment. To keep from falling apart you may need to take a step back.

  1. Decide what you can control and what you cannot, then let it go

You cannot control someone being ill or passing away. You’ll need to deal with that hurt then let it go. You can control over spending on your budget and finding yourself in a financial sticky place. Let it go that you messed up this time and do better the next. Deciding what you can and can’t control is a key to not falling apart. Don’t beat yourself up for where you messed up something within your control. Don’t make yourself sick worrying about something you cannot change.  Life is a process of breaking and putting back together. Pick up whatever pieces you can and move forward.

  1. Remember you can cry

The strong superwoman/superman myth will have you believing that you can’t cry or feel what’s going on at the moment. That is false. It is okay to cry, to hurt, to be angry, to regret, to be uncomfortable. All of those emotions are okay to have as long as you don’t live there too long. Don’t let the emotions drown you and paralyze you. Give yourself time and then get up and start following suggestion #2. Remember it’s an ebb and flow and some days you’ll feel stronger than others but strength does come and you do eventually get through it. Seek help, friends, prayer and/or counseling on the really hard days.

  1. You’ve survived before

Remember that time in the past you thought it was so hard and difficult and you’d never get through it? And here you are, living through it. The same thing will happen this time. Every time you feel like falling apart remember that you have survived and thrived before and although this feels like the end of the world, it isn’t.

  1. Make Moves & Be Still

You can’t fix it all today but that’s no excuse to not do anything. As the saying goes, “do what you can with what you have where you are.” After you’ve given yourself space to cry and feel – get busy taking even the smallest steps to remedy your situation. When there is nothing you can do, be still. Don’t worry yourself frantically trying to do a whole lot without thinking it through. Sometimes the best course of action is to be still.

Hard times build tough people. When you are tempted to fall apart at the thought of all that you are enduring, take a breath, decide what you can control, cry, remember you’ve survived before and move forward. You can get through this no matter how dark it seems or how long it takes. On the other side of this, you’ll step back and realize you are impressed with yourself and how amazing you truly are afterall.

Dee Rene is the author and creator of Laugh.Cry.Cuss. @deerene_ @laughcrycuss

5 Signs You Need a Pause and What to Do About It

July 5th, 2014 - By Toya Sharee
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By Ms. Rachael O’Meara ,From YourTango

Learn about the 5 key signs you need a pause and tips on how to refresh and renew.

Despite my success working in the Internet industry for more than a decade, I felt like a failure at work. I was overworked, stressed about every minor detail and quickly burning out. The more I tried to improve “my performance,” the worse I seemed to do. Everyone told me I wasn’t doing well in my role, which set off a mental tailspin.

With an eroding confidence, I sure wasn’t going to look for a new job, even though I was desperate to find one. I decided the best option was to take a break, or as I like to say, a pause. For how long, remained to be determined. I just knew that I needed a pause to unwind and figure out how I could live a happier life.

What led a professional like me to this breaking point? There were five signs. Unfortunately, I had ignored every one. They whispered day and night. You need a pause.

1. You used to love your job, now you loathe it.

Do you dread waking up and going to work most days? Was this previously enjoyable for you? Most of us spend our majority of time at work, so if you’re not happy here, it’s a problem you need to address.

2 The boss tells you, “It’s not working out.”

Worse than dating! Is your manager giving you specific feedback to improve? If the answer is yes, and you’ve shown no marked improvement, it’s time to assess if your role is a good fit. A pause could be just the right next step to figure this out.

3. An intervention separates you from your work or technology.

Has a loved one, friend or family member spoken up about your addiction to your work, phone or computer? Are you missing out on important life events because you’re too busy working or checking Facebook? It may be time to step away and see if what you’re working on is as critical (or valuable) as you think.

It’s too hot to suffer from burnout. Visit YourTango to read about more signs you need to put the world on pause and take care of yourself.

Dating: How To Stop Over-Analyzing Your New Relationships

June 7th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By Elizabeth StoneFor Your Tango

Suffering from over-think? Here’s how to stop over-analyzing your dates.

“Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” -Sigmund Freud

Have you ever started dating someone and begun overanalyzing how things are going? I know I have. In the beginning stages of a new relationship it can be so hard to not go over everything repeatedly in a vain attempt to either gain control or divine the future.

Your decisions about your reality heavily shape what you will do next. After too much analysis, you’re often damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Here’s why: if you decide things are going super well, you can get clingy and make the other person feel suffocated. If you decide things are going horrible, you can prematurely shut things down or unintentionally give off the vibe that you aren’t interested. This is why it’s doubly important to take a “wait and see” approach when it comes to a new relationship.

Here are some things to remember about relationship over-analysis:

Your analysis does not equal control.

Often we overanalyze when we’re feeling a lack of control over a situation. It’s as if the analysis helps us reconcile the inability to control someone else.

Visit Your Tango to read more about why Elizabeth Stone says over-thinking your relationship may leave you stressed out and alone.