Make the Stress Go Away

Vashon Island, Washington

As I talk with my friends I see that there is a common theme...stress.  We are very good at bringing on the stress.  We are all over-achievers.  We are working various stages of rearing children.  Some of us are working at being retired.   It doesn't matter what age we are or at what career stage:  There is Stress!

Since I am working at being retired I was spending the day focused on cleaning up and out the multitude of stuff that I have so carefully collected and stored.  Why?  I think at this stage I can safely admit that I am a pack rat.  I have done an exceptional job as a pack rat.  Not a pleasant thing to admit but, sadly, it is true.  That said, as I cleaned today, I came across a leaflet that I had saved.  It is titled, Leaving Stress Behind and I would like to share it with you.

I know that we all acknowledge that stress is in our lives.  The question that always surfaces is, "What can I do to reduce the stress?"

Below are some tips that can be used both at work and at home.

At Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Leaving Stress Behind
adapted from ...teacher today

During the Workday

Keep a "good job" file.
Whenever you receive a positive note from a colleague, boss, or friend, put it in a "good job" file.  If you are feeling stressed or unappreciated, pull out the cards and notes to remind yourself of the times you made a difference for someone or when you were recognized for your work and/or achievements.

Plan a day to work at home.
Some jobs are not conducive to this but if yours is, you may want to consider scheduling a day to work at home to complete reports or writing that must be done.  Being able to access computer files and email from home allows you to stay in touch, while you are wearing your pajamas or oldest jeans!

Deal with a problem situation.
When a problem weighs heavily on your mind, confront it directly.  Find a solution.  Talk directly to the person involved.  Determine the steps that you need to take.  Yes, procrastination is easy, but not sleeping at night because of it won't make it better.  Take action!

Keep your sense of humor.
Find time to laugh and share your laughter with others. 

Spend time with your colleagues.
Take your break!!  (The work will always be there.)  Eat lunch with your friends.  Take a few minutes to finish that chapter in the book you are reading.  Enjoy some conversation that is not work related!

County Park above Ada Resort, Oregon

During Your Private Hours

Read for pleasure.
Read the latest best-seller about a subject that is not related to your work.  Choose a book that immerses you in another place in history or on a subject that you have wanted to learn more about.  Spend time each day with your book.

Plan to cook a meal.
Take time to page through some of the cookbooks on your shelf or some of the magazines that have been piling up!  Develop a shopping list.  Spend time in the kitchen preparing a wonderful meal for your family or friends.  Or if you need a break from cooking, review restaurant menus and plan to go out for a nice evening with friends.  Just meeting up on an afternoon after work to share a cup of coffee or a glass of wine is relaxing.

Take a "fun" class.
Whether the subject is photography, gardening, painting, sewing, fixing cars....keep one night a week for your own learning and enjoyment.  Mark you calendar so you do not forget while you develop a routine!

Make an appointment.
Get a massage, a pedicure or manicure.  Better yet, have a "spa" day and pamper yourself all day long!  Join a gym and make a appointment at least three days a week.  Meet with a personal trainer and set up a regular routine.  Be sure to schedule a periodic appointment with the trainer to keep tabs on how you're doing.

Enjoy the outdoors.
Take a day trip.  Enjoy the outdoors....hike, take a picnic, go fishing, skip rocks, photograph the countryside, breathe in the fresh air, listen to the water roll down the stream....enjoy the scenery!

Paulina Peak, Oregon

Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday.  You may wish to visit her site to see all of the wonderful outdoor posts!


  1. Beautiful pictures. I am drawn to pictures of winding paths; they draw you in, don't you think? La

  2. What beautiful photos and such a good message.

  3. What gorgeous photos Kate. I'm a pack rat and believe me, that bad habit does cause stress. Unfortunately it's in my genes as my aunt was the worst pack rat ever. You think I'd learn.

  4. I just saw a 2 CD set on relaxation music..the cover..looks very much like your post..My that moss covered table etc is lovely..
    When we moved 10 yrs ago..I got rid of so we are 10 yrs would never know it..there is more..because of grandchildrn toys.. cooking stuff..

    Less is best I think..but then when you need it?:)

    Lovely post.
    Stress is the cause of many health issues.. I am listening to a lovely André Gagnon CD as I read your post..and it's perfect..

    Les Chemins Ombragés~
    Love him..

  5. Your lovely photos helped relieve my stress--a little. Now I'm off to cook a dinner and, later, read a book.


  6. Thank you for a wonderful post on stress and the information. Stress can kill you.

  7. Beautiful photos! Yes, you are right stress is not a good thing. Great ideas to relieve it.

  8. You had some GREAT ideas! And the photos are amazing. I can tell you it is still pretty darn warm here in Texas. Send some of that Washington state cool down this way please! And good luck with that retirement!! Charlene

  9. Beautiful photos and a great post. You have some great idea for relieving stress.

  10. that's really a good tip for relieving stress..i need that nowadays. your photos are beautiful especially the one at the peak. have a good week!

  11. What gorgeous photos! I especially love that moss covered table...there is something about deep shade, ferns & moss that is so soothing. And that photo of Paulina Park, what a beautiful view...thanks for sharing these & your tips :-)

  12. Beautiful photos, wonderful advice and I think I'll pass on the picnic table.

  13. Great post... as I am always trying to figure out how to deal with stress!


  14. Lovely post. Beautiful pictures.


  15. Beautiful post! These photos alone are good for reducing stress. Great suggestions. I'm retired myself and live a relatively stress free life. It's wonderful! ~ Sarah

  16. Stress is a part of all of our lives. It is what it is. One thing I constantly tell myself is to "Take the time to smell the roses." I don't mean that literally but it is something that is in my head at all times. Life is just too short and you add a lot of stress on top of that, It just ain't worth it.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  17. Beautiful pictures! Thank you for the tips about stress. Going outdoors is one my favorite things to do! That and reading a book. :-)

  18. Beautiful photos and great advice, too!

  19. Great post Kate! To help with everyday stress I do most of the things you have listed, especially the reading, baking and spending time outdoors. This morning I found myself still stewing over an encounter with one of my staff from yesterday and I had to remind myself to just let it go. It is done and over with.

    Great pictures! I love the picture of the forgotten picnic table!

    ~ Tracy

  20. I hear ya...loud and clear.
    Love your pics!

  21. You really relieved my stress with the lovely words and photo's. have a great day.

  22. Great advice, Kate. And the most important one by far is #3 under work day. This one holds true in all parts of life.

  23. Love your post and the photos in it! Thanks for sharing! :)

  24. What beautiful photos! I felt my stress drifting away as I looked at them. Thanks for all the great tips!

  25. I never had time to be stressed! :) I can't believe all I did while I worked all those years. Now it is a chore to get out of the house by 10 to go have fun!
    BTW, those pocket pie mold are in the WS outlet if you have one nearby for about 5 bucks! I have several, never paid full price@

  26. What wonderful photos! You gave a very insightful message too...

  27. Wonderful ideas! Isn't it amazing how much stress we can put in our lives even when we're retired? I find that I can't blame the job any more, or the colleagues. I have to acknowledge that it's ME that's doing it!

    Thanks for posting this.

  28. What a wonderful trip and list too. I had to laugh that you were working at being retired. I definitely find that to be true.


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