Jacki’s Journey: Some Parting Words of Wisdom

It’s time to wrap up the Stress Less Challenge while preparing for the final push of the busy holiday season ahead.  I have completed my Stress Less Challenge, during which I learned a few things about myself and how I let stress affect me.  I found that, yes, I can control how I react in stressful situations.  I went back and reviewed my previous posts.  Two thoughts from week #1 stand out, especially this time of year:  Don’t over commit yourself, and prioritize.  Over the past few weeks, I have had to cancel or postpone some of my plans.  By doing so, I have been able to take a moment to myself – and in some cases, delegate tasks to others – take those deep breaths, and feel the stress lifted off my shoulders.  It is amazing how the challenge has helped me to do those two simple things, which I never would have done in the past.

I was not alone in this Challenge, as there were others from my worksite who participated.  I asked them what they thought of the Challenge and what worked best for them.  The majority thought the challenge was great and easy to follow.  Only a few felt it was too much work.  Overall though, the feedback has been positive.  Some of the participants have said they will continue to practice the art of stress-less in their daily routines.  The techniques that worked best for them were yoga, breathing exercises, physical activity, vacation, weekly pedicures, sleep, family time and making time for yourself.  My personal favorite technique that I discovered was my positivity calendar.  Yes, there were days when it was hard to find something positive to say, but I always managed to find something, no matter how small it might have seemed at the time. 

You all know I did not part ways with my best friend, caffeine.  I think that would have made my life more stressful knowing we could not hang out together every morning while we watched the news!  Having a piece of dark chocolate every day was nice, too.  I looked forward to that one piece after dinner.  Just the thought of chocolate brings a smile to my face.  Maybe I might introduce Mr. Coffee to Miss Dark Chocolate!

I hope you all enjoyed the Challenge as much as my co-workers and I have.  I know the challenge helped me in so many different ways.  I have found myself in some extremely stressful situations lately.  In these situations I think back to the Challenge and what I can do to help alleviate some of the stress and tension.  Thank you WellMASS for the wonderful and informative handouts provided to us in this Challenge.  They are what have helped me get through my own daily stress challenges.  Thank you all for listening to me during this Challenge.  I had so much fun doing this.  I found the saying below and it fits in perfectly with how I would like to close out my last Stress Less Challenge blog to you all.

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