Managing Stress & Making It Work

Seven No-Cost Stress Busters That Are Worth Your Time

It is saddening that many feel the need to trip out on drugs in order to “cope” with the stress of their day. One single mom defended that spending her last $10 on her fix was important to give her a break from the stress of not being able to make ends meet, to feed her children and take care of them.

Oh, dear, perhaps your choices are leading to your inability to feed your children—$10 can buy a loaf of bead and a jar of peanut butter, and a jug of milk. That’s many meals …

The need to rejuvenate is fully understood. And supported. However, when you look at your options and your resources, there are choices that would serve you better. Spend the money on food to feed your self and your family. And spend some time to refresh your soul. Here are seven of the many ways one can “escape” with a little time, and no money at all.

MOVE. Get in motion. Go for a walk. Dance in your room. Stretch or strike a yoga pose. March in place. Do jumping jacks! This will elevate your mood and help your health. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. They interact with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. This is a key benefit of regular physical activity. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. That feeling is often accompanied by a bright outlook on life. Exercise also leads to improved self-esteem.

MIX IT UP. Get a new perspective. Rearrange your habits. Take a different route on errands. Straighten your closet or your room. Step back and ponder the patterns of your life—the daily routines that shape your existence. How could you tweak your routine to make your day more pleasant? A simple adjustment in a daily regimen can make a huge difference in your happiness.

MASTURBATE. Give yourself a hand. Love you. Escape in a moment of personal pleasure. When just thinking about sex, the brain releases dopamine, giving us a sense of pleasure. As we engage in sexual activity, endorphins are released, providing a sense of well-being. Learn to love yourself and you will be more open to love from others.

MAKE SOMETHING. Create a poem. Hum a new tune. Draw a picture of a daydream. Enjoy the journey as you manifest anew. Activities that put you into the “zone” slow your brain waves and stop the constant mind chatter. Whether it is cooking, painting, writing, sewing, gardening, photography, or working with clay, do something imaginative. Let it inspire you and lift your mood.

MEDITATE. Stop. Breathe. Ponder. Pray. And find a supportive mantra to repeat so you have this peace any time of the day. You can repeat a simple, neutral sound such as AUM for several minutes—or use a word or phrase with meaning to you (this can have stronger psychological impact). Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Ponder or say your word or phrase silently as you breathe out. When stray thoughts come by, gently release them. Continue focus on your mantra. Do this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes each day. Mindful self-compassion can relieve anxiety under conditions of chronic psychological pressure.

MELT DOWN. Cry. It can be therapeutic. It is one of the most cleansing experiences you can experience. Deep sobs open your chest and your diaphragm. This releases bound-up energy and helps to free your heart of muscular tension. A good cry will enhance oxygen delivery to your cells. And, crying stimulates release of neuro-chemicals in the brain that promote relaxation. Tears are also considered to be healing—evidence suggest that the nerve growth factor in tears has medicinal functions. In any case, a good cry feels like relief.

MEET UP. Get together with a friend. Swap stories. Laugh. Cry. Communicate your way to a brighter mood through connection. When we feel connected to another, we feel more calm. When a friend expresses support, sympathy, and compassion for your difficult situation, it reduces anxiety. This act of kindness goes a long way to relieve tension and provide a sense of comfort.

There are many more possibilities. Make time for yourself every day. Take a break from the info-stream and the constant press of info. Step back and look at the opportunities to serve your highest and best. Please share how you cope, productively, in times of stress.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand ScriptYourShift.com.

A Moving Experience

tableware-555203_960_720The commitment of moving in with your significant other is fun—like breakfast in bed, housewarming parties, or decorating together. It’s a big step for your relationship; also for your stuff. Sort out things beforehand for a smooth move.

First, build a strong foundation for your finances. Financial aspects of your new life together can affect everything from rent or mortgage payments to grocery expenses. Create a plan to manage your debt, expenses, and credit. Then outline living arrangements such as chores. Take these steps to get a handle on matters and smooth out details ahead of time, so you’ll avoid disagreements and hard feelings later.

BUDGET Disclose your gross income and your liabilities, and what you afford for household expenses. Then outline the budget for your combined monthly living expenses. Include these items.

  • Rent (or down payment and mortgage)
  • Utilities- Gas, Electric, Water, Cable, Network
  • Household Insurance
  • Food and Supplies
  • Miscellany – including saving for repair, lean times*
  • Entertainment – hosting a party, decorating

Also figure out when your monthly bills are due to avoid late payments. Track your spending as a couple (apps and online programs can link to your bank and savings accounts, as well as sync yours and your partner’s app accounts for these). Stay aligned with your financial commitments and goals.

ACCOUNT Open a joint checking account, and an attached joint savings account. Savings* is where you keep a minimum of $1000 and aim to have enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses should an emergency strike. Commit to ante up for share of bills on a certain date monthly or weekly (if one of you brings home a significantly larger paycheck than the other, you might choose to divvy up the responsibility differently).

Maintain separate accounts for personal savings, investments, clothing, cellphone, medical, treating one another, dates, and etc.

CHORES Outline chores. Split them. Be flexible.

ROLES Define roles will each of you play in running the household. If you rent an apartment, both partners should put their names on the lease. If one of you is renting and the other is the owner, clarify responsibilities of landlord and tenant.

STUFF Living together likely means you won’t be able to keep all the stuff you both have so take time together to choose what stays and what goes. Invest in a storage space for personal items that don’t fit in but you desire keeping.
Rearrange your space together.

  • Keep track of furniture and household goods ownership for.
  • For major purchases that are separate, keep them documented.
  • Make joint purchases in both names.

Remain unattached to most things. Focus on what is most essential. Be respectful of one another.

COMMUNICATE Consider how you will manage disagreements. Remain objective when discussing perspectives about spending and saving and sharing. You don’t want to resent your partner because you ended up paying for something you didn’t think was fair. Check in with one another always. Express appreciation to one another for everything.

AGREEMENT  The above outlines your agreement and reflects validation of the importance of your relationship by your willingness to put in writing your rights, responsibilities and obligations to that relationship, and to one another. Be firm and flexible as you commit to the well-being of your partner and your relationship.

Summarize how much each partner will pay for rent, who will cover what household duties, when bills are due, and other space-sharing arrangements. Revisit this agreement whenever necessary, such as when one partner’s income level changes. Revise it as you require.

Merging household and finances can be stressful. With planning and open communication, you can smooth the merger. Should moving in together expand to marriage or children, you may require taking budgeting to another level. Evaluate and re-evaluate finances as a couple under one roof as a practice that will ensure staying aligned.

Designate responsibilities to make sure that one person isn’t taking on more housework than the other. Then move on to the fun of setting up your household. Manage expectations and set up ground rules before sets you up for a smooth move.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand ScriptYourShift.com.