Stress Busters

By Beatrice Calvin

Fall has officially begun. Though many people tend to think of spring as a season for new beginnings, I like to think of fall as a time to start new things—a time to refresh and renew. I feel re-energized when fall begins. The trees begin to change colors and I notice how magnificent creation is. School begins in the fall and opportunities for continuing your education and/or professional development often comes in the fall. The start of this fall brings something new for Library Worklife. This month we begin a new series entitled ‘Stress Busters.’ Each month we will list some simple ideas that you can use to help reduce stress in your life.

Before we give you tips on how to manage stress, however, it’s important for you to know what stress feels like, what causes it and how it affects you individually. Stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways for different people. For some, stress can be an overall nervous feeling. For others, it can be a feeling of heaviness or sense of foreboding. For many people, stress can be immobilizing. Sometimes, stress can be so overwhelming that it feels physically painful– causing headaches, backaches and other bodily ailments. Stress is normal. It’s a part of everyday life. It’s how we handle stress that can determine the success of our overall health and well-being. You should be aware of the specific things and/or events that cause stress for you and exactly how you react to them. If you have trouble dealing with stress, you may need to seek professional help. That’s okay. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself emotionally and physically.

Here are this month’s tips.

  1. Take several deep breaths. If you start to feel overwhelmed by stress, stop and take several deep breaths. This might help you calm down and clear your head. It’s usually easier to come up with options and/or alternatives to your problems when you’re calm. Taking deep breaths can help you feel calmer.
  2. Take a walk.  Fall is the time when it’s no longer too hot to go outside for a walk. I love the sound of crunching leaves under my feet as I walk. Taking a walk is a great way to be quiet and clear your mind. Also, if you take a walk with someone who is special to you (spouse, child, grandchild, etc.) it can be a way to strengthen a relationship.
  3. Get organized. The more organized you can get things in your life, the less stress you are likely to feel. You’ll notice yourself spending less time looking for stuff and you’ll find that you have more time for other things. But don’t overdo it. There is a possibility of becoming so organized, that when things are not as organized as you’d like, you could become stressed.

Feel free to send us your tips for reducing stress. Send ideas to libraryworklife@ala.org. Look for more ideas next month as we prepare for Thanksgiving.