Thursday, July 01, 1999

How Do You Spell Relief?

© (1998) By Vicki Polin, MA, LCPC, ATR

Photograph by Vicki Polin
There are so many different things you can do when you feel stress. Many people jog, work out at the gym, scream under railroad tracks (so no one can hear them), or pound pillows. Here are two alternative to helping to elevate stress from your life.

There are a few things that you can do just about anywhere. One of the most important things is to breathe (inhale and exhale). Breathing is a natural way to reduce stress. When we breathe we allow oxygen to get to our brain. One thing I suggest to people is to carry a bottle of bubbles along with them. Instead of going outside and lighting up a cigarette, you can blow bubbles. Not only are you helping yourself to inhale and exhale slowly, you are also helping the people around you to relax. Everyone enjoys watching bubbles float through the air.  Ok, at first if you are out in public people may start staring, but before you know it, you started a new trend.  Just about everyone enjoys blowing bubbles. 

Another great stress reducer is playing with clay. Some times just squeezing the clay between your fingers can be soothing. Other times pounding it on a table will do the trick. Below is a recipe for making Play Dough. You can make several different colors just by dividing up the dough and adding different color food colorings. The play dough will last for several weeks by keeping it in a zip lock bag.

Play Dough
4 cups White Flour
2 cups Salt
2 tablespoons Cream of Tartar
2 teaspoons Food Coloring
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
3 Cups Water
1 Large Pot

Mix dry ingredients in large pot, then add food coloring, oil, and water. Mix well. Turn stove on high, mixing with a wood spoon. Once dough becomes thick remove from pot on a plate. Wait a minute before kneading with your hands. Store play dough in zip lock bags.

No comments: