The holidays are good times — everything is sparkly and Mariah Carey is blasting wherever you go. But they also create the perfect storm of getting-to-the-airport, gift-giving, bring-on-the-crazy stress. The good news: Your body has your back. “The way the body responds to stress is the same during the holidays as during any other time of year,” says Ari Novick, Ph.D, a psychotherapist and founder of the AJ Novick Group for Anger and Stress Management, in Laguna Beach, California.
First, your heart rate and blood pressure go up a notch (or two) spurting out chemicals to amp your fight or flight response just in case things get out of hand; then, having this happen on a daily basis may lead to feelings of anxiety or depression and the next thing you know, you’re snapping at the Starbucks barista for no apparent reason. But, why do you need to chill out right now more than ever? “The holidays bring up additional stressors that may be don’t exist in our day-to-day lives,” says Novick. That means extra anxiety on top of your already-stressful life, which could cause a full-blown meltdown. Here’s how to nip those holiday WTH moments in the bud. Read more…
Do you go to Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada? No? Well, get your but there on December 4, 5 and 6th, because the school is creating a goddamned puppy room for stressed out students. The pups won’t be permanently on campus; they’re graciously volunteering their time and soft, floppy ears with volunteers from Therapeutic Paws Of Canada, which is an organization that brings cats and dogs to schools, senior centers and other people in need. Keep reading »
Between Hurricane Sandy and the election, I would classify the last two weeks as a time of extreme stress. Nothing I won’t be able to bounce back from, but I’ve had a few sleepless nights and a perma-knot in my stomach. Some of you have voiced your opinions in the comments, wondering how TheFrisky can write about Channing Tatum being the sexiest man alive or whatever, when there are things with so much more gravitas to going on.
I really thought about the answer to that question and I would like to respond. As a blogger here at The Frisky, and in my personal life, my goal every day is to carve out as many little pockets of meaning as I can. That may include tackling the existential crisis that arose when I was trapped in my apartment for days, or more WTF stuff, like that toddler who sucked a used condom on a playground, or the silly stuff, like the things on the Food Network that Winona and I find arousing. Ganache! Keep reading »
We all feel a little crazy sometimes (for me, “sometimes” means at least three times a day), and while we’re big proponents of therapy and other structured forms of mental health support here at The Frisky, there are times when limited funds or busy schedules make it tough to get professional help. In honor of How To Deal Week, I thought I’d round up some of my favorite simple, effective, and — best of all — totally free ways to feel better when the going gets rough. Check ‘em out after the jump, and please feel free to add your own tips and techniques in the comments! Keep reading »
I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a kid. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, earthquakes used to be a huge source of stress for me, and I’d often lie awake at night terrified that the ground would start shaking. As an adult, I’ve got a pretty good handle on specific fears like that, but sometimes I’ll get hit with a wave of generalized anxiety–my mind races, my heart rate quickens, and any semblance of calm suddenly feels so far away. Luckily, over the years I’ve found a few ways to deal with these freakouts. Here are some tried and true anxiety busters that have worked for me and other members of the Frisky staff. Check out our list and please add your own strategies in the comments section–I’m always open to new ideas! Keep reading »
My name is Amelia and I am a stress seeker. According to a recent article in Women’s Health, stress seekers are “addicted to high-anxiety lifestyles … because somewhere along the line being stretched to the limit turned into a badge of honor.” I know about when it happened for me. When I was suddenly dumped by my fiance, after nearly five years together, I threw myself into my job. Working gave me something to focus on when the question, Who am I without him?, was keeping me up at night. No longer his fiancee, I needed to be of value to someone or something else. He didn’t want to marry me anymore, so I married my job instead. Keep reading »
Talk about a silly study. Women who have had trouble getting pregnant and have resorted to using in vitro fertilization can increase their chances of conception by spending just 15 minutes with a “medical clown.” Yeah. A medical CLOWN. Researchers studied 229 Israeli women undergoing IVF and found that those who spent a 1/4 of an hour with Bozo had a success rate of 36 percent, compared to just 20 percent of those who didn’t visit the circus (I kid). So what in the name of Barnum & Bailey is a medical clown? Apparently, you can only get a degree in this specialty in Israel, but practitioners take courses in nursing and focus on distracting patients from pain or stress using humor. This particular study likely proves that “reduced stress, caused by laughter, could increase the chance that the injected embryo will successfully make its way into the womb.” Or, um, maybe the embryo has read Stephen King’s IT one too many times? [NY Daily News] Keep reading »
I’m not gonna lie — the last two weeks have been a blur of crapitude. Cavities, a bad cold, emotional dramz and more have left me both physically and psychologically drained. I’ve spent way too much time on my couch but can’t foresee any reason NOT to be there either. Usually, I’m pretty good about calling a friend, or getting proactive when things get me down, but this particular perfect storm of physical and emotional pain has rendered me totally useless. I have watched so much “Law & Order: SVU” this week that I’m on the verge of writing Stabler and Benson fan-fic.
We all feel like total poop sometimes, but not all of us cope with it in the same ways. What are your secret tips and tricks for getting through a rough time? Keep reading »
No matter how cool your job is, you’re in a better mood and have less aches and pains from Friday evening to Sunday morning. We knew we loved weekends! According to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, people feel mentally and physically better on the weekend, regardless of how much money they make, what they do for a living, how old they are, or whether they’re single or married. The study also found that we feel more competent on weekends, which is a shame for our bosses. So why are weekends so much better than Monday through Friday? The findings suggest having more freedom and getting to spend time with friends and family makes us happier, and weekdays tend to be filled with constraints. I concur with this verdict: Not having to wake up to the sound of my alarm puts me in a wonderful mood on Saturday morning. [Newswise] Keep reading »