October 2002

     From the Editor
by Samantha Carpenter

Stress Case

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the “S” word—STRESS. Mainly, I’ve been pondering how I can reduce some of the stress that is in my life. You are probably no stranger to this. You may be stressed out about your company figures for this year or how your company is going to pay for the increase in health insurance or you may have something stressful going on in your personal life. 

We often hear that we should keep our business life and personal life separate, which would include stresses we have in each. (If you have a great theory on how to keep them separate and can prove that it works, I would love to hear it!) Since I feel it’s impossible to keep my personal and business life separate, I decided for my health and for many of you who are in the same boat that I would ask my coworkers at SHELTER how they reduce their stress. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“On good days, I reduce stress by exercising and doing some hobby I enjoy—reading or writing. On bad days, I reduce stress by eating way too much, staring blankly at the TV for hours and yelling at my dog and husband—and not necessarily in that order. I think the challenge is to have many more good days of stress than bad days,” quips Deb Levy, president of SHELTER’s parent company, Key Communications Inc.

“I am not one to ‘stress out’ too much, but when I find myself having a stressful day, I simply try to call home and get one of my kids on the phone. You would be amazed at how much you can break up your day or a bad situation by listening to a 3-year-old tell you about how he and Scooby Doo chased the monsters away! If I can’t get one of them on the phone, or if the kids are the cause of the stress, I simply find that getting away from the situation for a couple minutes with a good cigar will usually do the trick,” said Brian Welsh, publisher.

“One thing I started doing in school that I have carried over into working is scheduling something fun on the weekends. It was easy for me to let the weekends get filled with homework, housework, church and just general hanging out without a plan to do something specific … So, I make a concerted effort to plan at least one fun event if there is not one already on the calendar. It may just be a movie with a friend or a trip to a museum,” said Brenda Cabrera, art director.

“I’m a list maker. The stress partially goes away once I’ve written down what needs to be done; it seems more manageable that way. Then as I start handling the tasks, I get the satisfaction of crossing or checking the item off (in a different color so it stands out that it’s finished), ” said Holly Carter, marketing director.

“At lot of times, I sit down and watch either movies or television, or I read a good book,” said James Roberts, advertising production assistant.

“Most of the time what I want to do most is EAT (preferably pizza or ice cream)!!! But usually I go for a run and it makes me feel 100-percent better,” said Elizabeth Herlan, advertising coordinator.

“I cook or watch fun movies. As for how to reduce stress at work, I keep a pint of ice cream in the freezer here, and as sadly dependent on food as it sounds, that helps a lot,” said Penny Beverage, managing editor.

“When I have stress in my life, I like to go for a walk and unwind. Also, sometimes sitting outside and looking at the trees and listening to the birds helps me. If I can’t do either of those things because I am at work, then I just focus on the task at hand, realize I am only one person and I can’t do it all,” said Janeen Cipriani, customer relations manager.

“When I’m stressed, I take a break from the situation—even if it’s for a few minutes. I also try not to dwell on the stress. By that, I mean not talking about it continuously, which, in my opinion, only increases the stress,” said Tara Taffera, contributing editor.

I hope that you found some of these stress reduction suggestions helpful. I know that I did. I especially like the ideas of walking and scheduling a fun activity. What did you find helpful, or do you have another idea? I’d love to hear it!


Samantha Carpenter, Editor


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