There is no doubt that these are turbulent times. A presidential election in full swing, one of the worst drops on Wall Street (followed by one of the biggest rallies) last week, and a continued major reshuffling of the real estate and financial landscape – it’s enough to raise one’s blood pressure.

While I am not an expert on stress, anyone who knows me knows I maintain a full plate, and most days, I do it in stride. I thought I’d share what works for me.

First, don’t overdose on the media. Do what it takes to keep yourself informed, but don’t obsess over every development and every talking head commentary. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely happier for it.” That may be a bit extreme in today’s world, but in this case, I feel strongly that less is more and definitely healthier.

Second, seek out the people in your life who are most important to you. It’s no secret that a strong social network is the ultimate stress-buster, so spend more time with your children, your family and your best friends. When it comes to my kids, the miracle of their daily progress takes my breath away and puts the rest of the world into an entirely different, diminished perspective.

Third, take care of yourself. When you are stressed, regular exercise and a healthy diet are even more important. There is something to the expression “blowing off steam.” Exercise provides physical relief which in turn can help relax your psyche. Also, watch your intake of caffeine, alcohol (a depressant), and junk food. If you let yourself go, you’ll only feel worse.

Fourth, find your silver lining. Change creates opportunity. When my showings slowed during the summer months of July and August, I finally had the time to pursue some new marketing initiatives that have been on my “to do” list for much too long. One of those projects was to start this blog. Now that I am busy again with fall market sales and showings, I am still making the time to write my posts because they give me such pleasure.

Last, cut yourself some slack. It is okay if you don’t feel great all the time. That is part of what makes us human. Do your best in what you do, but when things get to be too much, take a deep breath and treat yourself to a walk along the lake, a hot bath, a nice dinner, or a funny movie on TV.

Now, don’t laugh at this (although humor is also therapeutic), but I was flipping through the newest edition of The Costco Connection looking for coupons, when I came across an article entitled, Don’t Stress, Decompress. It is based on the notion that too much pressure can rule your life and ruin your health. The article has some great additional pointers to offer, which you can read by browsing to page 22 on Costco’s online reader.

Finally, I’d like to remind you of the sage advice of cartoonist and writer Sandra Boynton: “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.” The illustration on the cover of her book by the same name (shown above) shows a cartoon elephant lying flat on the ground with a bunch of turkeys standing all over him. It has been 22 years since she wrote that adorable little book, but it is in times like these that it seems more appropriate than ever.

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  • Jenny

    Sandra Boynton is one of my faves, even before I had kids. 🙂