Final Thought: Stressbuster

I’m finding ‘feel-good’ endorphins and a healthier me in ways I never imagined. 

Extra work assignments from new projects were coming in (great for the company), yet it was causing a little anxiety, stress and self-talk concerns among me and my writing peers.

The negative jabber rambling in my head: “It’s impossible! There’s not enough time! How are we going to juggle this with our other deadlines?”

Ugh. After a deep sigh, my more positive inner voice, resembling a cheerleader, took over: “You can do it!”

Of course, I am part of a great editorial team that rises to tasks. In everyday life and in all situations, challenges we think of as problems do get conquered.

However, one thing I’ve noticed that is different in my life these days is I’m learning to handle stress better. Maybe it’s because I’ve already gone through exhausting years of raising children, experienced the death of a spouse and survived (barely) 40 years as a newspaper reporter—the days of covering gruesome fatalities and long council meetings and hearing “I need that story in 15 minutes!”

The aftermath of those stressful times led to me being 50 pounds overweight from mindlessly eating junk food for comfort, not sleeping well and binge-watching TV.

Becoming healthier has been happening naturally in my life, thank goodness. My job at Akers Media is less stressful than the newspaper world, and the magazine’s more upbeat editorial content is a great influence, too. Since the company was a sponsor at the Mistletoe Trot 5K and 10K last December, I embarked on my first 5K (mostly walking/jogging), which inspired me to participate in the February 5K Love Run in Fruitland Park and a one-mile Walk for the Poor in Eustis, where I had fun pushing my mom, 88, (the oldest participant) in a wheelchair around Lake Gracie.

I’m carrying over my 2019 New Year’s resolution to take time to embrace activities I find enjoyable, including early-morning gym workouts at Planet Fitness in Eustis (the old me would have said, “No way, that’s exercise!”) followed by many nights after work dancing off stress and getting those “feel-good” endorphins at Dancin’ Ballroom in Leesburg.

Since starting lessons last June, dancing the cha cha, waltz, swing and other steps has become my favorite stress-reducer, improving my mood, overall health and quality of sleep.

Finally, by golly, at 62, I think I’ve found my groove.  

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