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Spring forward by pushing winter stress aside

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Updated: June 9, 2014 3:19AM



Is there anyone out there who hasn’t been stressed from this past winter?

I say “past” somewhat sarcastically because even though we’re now in April, we know from recent experience that brings no assurance that we won’t see ice or find another six inches of snow on the ground.

The unbearable winter, coupled with a very slow recovery from a severely broken leg, has made my stress levels skyrocket.

I stress about getting out and about safely ... will I fall again?

I stress about being cold ... I’m so tired of shivering and wrapping myself in layers of blankets.

I stress about any number of things on any given day. That’s what being cooped up in the house, as we have all been for several months now, will do to you.

Stress, something so intangible, manifests itself in a number of physical ways: headaches, jaw-clenching, neck and back pain, compromised immune system, heartburn, bad moods and depression. And those are just at the tip of iceberg.

So what do I do to alleviate stress? Take hot showers, read a good book, practice meditation, slow down and breathe deeply, make time to talk with good friends and be sure to get plenty of sleep.

Here are a few suggestions from your neighbors:

Larry Molarski, Hammond: I’ve found the best stress reliever is going to the gym and doing a hard workout. My favorite is the punching bag; put all your stress into those punches and let the bag carry all that weight for you. If you don’t work up a sweat, you’re not working hard enough.

Carmen Mendoza, Schererville: When I feel stressed, it’s usually because I’m trying to do too many things at once. When I find that happening, I make a point of paying a visit to my granddaughter. It’s hard to hold on to stress when you’re cuddling a warm and sweet-smelling 1-year-old.

Bart Stohovich, Lowell: When you’re stressed, your body tightens up. The best thing is some kind of physical labor. Usually it’s working outside, but since the weather has been so bad, I decided to surprise my wife and remodel our downstairs bathroom. Wasn’t sure I could do it but it’s turning out well. I was laid off a few months ago and staying busy has been good for my state of mind.

Logan Newborn, Dyer: I attend law school in Chicago and have found it to be very competitive with lots of stress. Of course I spend a lot of time in the library studying, but by the end of the night, I was so tense that my muscles hurt. I’ve found if I make sure to take a break every couple of hours, my attention span is better and my body doesn’t ache at the end of the night.

And one final note: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. I believe it’s not a coincidence. We need to be the voice for the weakest among us: our children, our animals and yes, our elderly. Don’t be silent. Stand up and report abuse when you see it.



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