Recreation — A Personal Experience

This is the second in a series of posts about emotional health, a much delayed second post.  I started this blog with every intention of posting at least once a month if not once a week.  A goal I’ve obviously failed to achieve.  Why?

Several years of being a psychologist-business owner- wife- foster mother- friend- volunteer- person pushed me to the limit last fall.  A wonderful colleague recognized my stress,  looked me in the eye and said, “You’ve got to take care of yourself.  I want you to spend at least five minutes every day doing something you love.  Longer would be better.”

I gave my own clients similar advice but struggled to practice what I preach.  I decided to make some changes, beginning with the five minutes a day.  I started putting down the laundry basket to pick out a tune on the piano, knitting a few rows before making a phone call, picking up the binoculars to watch a bird, reading something nonprofessional, or just sitting quietly during naptime.  What a difference!  I feel better physically, can think more clearly, and am much calmer emotionally.  I’ve even found time to post a blog entry.

Medical and mental health professionals often talk about the harm of stress and the benefits of recreation.  Sometimes it becomes background noise or just another thing on the to do list, but it worth the effort.  Find something that works for you.

For more information, check out:
Mind/Body: Stress          Six Myths About Stress           Stres Tip Sheet

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