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Carol Johnson-Green used to be able to get her family ready and out the door–with time to spare. But after the birth of her second child, Spencer, a few months ago, her mornings became more chaotic.
“One day really started out rough. The baby woke up earlier than usual and interrupted my entire routine. I ended up being late for a lunch meeting,” recalls Johnson-Green, 36, a fitness trainer/aerobic instructor in Chester, New Jersey. To top it all off, she couldn’t find a babysitter. “I had to go through the luncheon with my screaming newborn. By the end of the day, I was exhausted.”
Work, family and social obligations can take their toll on physical and mental capacities. “Whenever you become anxious or upset, your heart rate increases and your muscles become tense,” says Jacqueline Wilder, a licensed massage therapist in Englewood, New Jersey. Without treatment, serious health problems such as hypertension can result. It’s important to make time to de-stress regularly, even if it’s only for a few hours. Try these therapeutic remedies to help ease the strain of your daily grind:
- Massage. “Massages help to rid the body of negative energy and restore natural balance,” says Wilder. Call the Massage Therapy Association for a listing of licensed therapists near you (see “Hands-on Healing,” Verve, September 1997).
- Aromatherapy. Combining a relaxing environment with soothing scents can reduce stress and help you sleep. Try All Ways Natural Aromatherapy Essential Oils (2 oz. bottle, $1.99), pictured here, sold in major beauty supply stores. Make sure you’re not allergic or hypersensitive to particular scents.
- Meditation. Inhale deeply to slow your breathing. Close your eyes and focus on an uplifting thought for several minutes. “Use this time to remember that ultimately you’re in control,” says Wilder.