managing stress

This newsletter is in response to the stress and anxiety that
many of our readers have been feeling in this time of
uncertainty. We are inundated with threats about war and
terrorism. We are impacted by the declining economy as we
watch the price of gasoline go up, the price of stocks go
down and the continued loss of jobs in our society. Americans
are feeling a sense of isolation. Many of us are confused and
ambivalent about on-going events in the world. In short, we
are on overload, getting constant media reports without
any clear resolution at this time.

As uncomfortable as you may feel, what you are experiencing
is a normal response to an abnormal situation. There is a
wide range of reactions that people may have. What follows
are some of the symptoms that you might be noticing:

Physical reactions such as: sleep disturbances, changes in
appetite, headaches, body tension;

Emotional reactions such as: anxiety, fear, frustration,
feelings of vulnerability;

Cognitive reactions such as: confusion, forgetfulness,
difficulty concentrating, hyper-vigilance;

Behavioral reactions such as: isolation, irritability,
restlessness, impatience, aggressive behavior.

How you cope depends on many factors in your life,
especially what has worked for you in the past. Here are
some activities that might help you in the process:

* Talk about your thoughts and feelings

* Reach out to others in your support system

* Retain your normal routine and activities

* Limit your exposure to the media

* Focus on what you can control in your life

* Be open to asking for help

* Eat sensibly

* Get enough rest and sleep

* Exercise

* Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress

* Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol

* Limit your use of sugar and caffeine

* Start a journal

* Maintain balance in your life

* Be patient with yourself

* Know that you will recover at your own pace

These are hard times for all of us. We hope that this
information and support will help you.

Please share your thoughts and feelings with us by e-mailing us

***What part of the situation has been most troubling to you?

***How is the situation affecting you?

***What helps you cope?

We will include your responses in our next newsletter. In this
way, we can all help each other get through this difficult


Our Invitation to You

Do you have your own transition story? We invite you to
share it with our readers for the benefit of women who
themselves may be dealing with similar changes. The skills you
used may be Stepping Stones for others. If you are interested,
please e-mail us.

(c) HerMentorCenter, 2003