April is stress awareness month, but who has time to think about their stress?
If we listen or read the news, we hear only about doom and gloom. War, inflation, climate change, health care issues, employment concerns, and much of these festers among politicians who cannot or will not work together for the common good.
Even a Little Time Makes a Difference
We can all benefit by taking a few deep breaths and disconnecting from the stresses of life and the distractions of technology. Even just 3-5 minutes can make a difference. I frequently recommend daily meditation and there are a variety of ways to relax and destress. Here are some examples:
- five or ten minutes of listening to calming music
- reading for pure enjoyment
- exercising or taking a walk in a park
- getting outdoors in the fresh air
- engage in a hobby you enjoy
These are all things that can readjust the focus of our brain and allow it to diffuse tension. Making time to destress takes intention.
Serendipity & Destressing
Here is a very serendipitous event I’d like to share as a real-life example. My wife Melissa and I were in the city of Dunedin recently and we came upon a new dessert shop. I am not a real dessert person, but I know Melissa enjoys frozen treats after dinner. Since we eat a plant-based diet, we find ice cream shops with options infrequently. The sign outside the shop read “cashew based ice cream.” Curiosity got the best of us and we had to stop. The ice cream was delicious (and this will not be our last visit)! We plan to share our experience with that wonderful and creamy frozen dessert with our friends.
Starting a New Business & Destressing
We met the owners and learned of the challenges they faced in the eighteen months it took to open. COVID, city license, building permits, and a major challenge of not alienating neighbors by competing for a certain segment of business. I could relate and understand the stresses they went through to get their dream ice cream shop opened. But, you know what? This family-owned venture expressed to us they took things in stride, took deep breaths, and believed in themselves.
They found time at the end of their day to decompress and focus, almost meditating. In addition, they celebrated the fact that they developed recipes with high-quality ingredients with just the right balance. And thankfully, they offer healthy, non-dairy alternatives for their patrons, visitors and locals who hopefully frequent their store.
The name of the establishment is Chelsea’s Chews Cashew Creamery. Despite Chelsea being the name of their dog, they cater just to humans. Of course, they offer a small cone for dog visitors, but their product is 100% made with people in mind … the most delicious dairy-free dessert I have ever had.
Visiting Chelsea’s Chews Cashew Creamery was a treat for us. We enjoyed hearing about the owners’ experiences. It took us away from the stress of the day and provided the needed disconnection. And what better way to de-stress than through conversation, connection through a delicious and satisfying treat, made with love, attention, and a purposeful goal?
Make a Daily Plan to Destress
A trip to an ice cream shop is just one way to connect with others, enjoy a healthy dessert, and get away from the stress of routine. This does not, however, replace the necessity of planning de-stressing activities daily for physical and mental benefits.
To a long and healthy life,
David Bernstein, MD