The Stress Institute Helps People Move Forward After a Job Loss

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Online Community Provides Coping Mechanisms during Tough Economy.

The Stress Institute, a lifestyle company that teaches people how to reduce the stress in their lives by offering health and wellness tips and resources, is helping people cope with the difficult economy and rising unemployment through education, training, and an online community with interactive content and online tools to combat stress during these tough times.

For people who have recently lost their jobs, The Stress Institute says it's normal to experience feelings of:

  •     Disorientation
  •     Shame
  •     Confusion
  •     Grief

By definition, stress is when you feel out of control. The more in control you feel, the less stress you'll experience. "Right now you can't control what's going on with the job market," said Dr. Kathleen Hall, internationally known stress and work/life balance expert and CEO of The Stress Institute. "But you can control how you respond to the crisis, and the new year is a great time to challenge yourself to change how you deal with stress and ready yourself for something new... Stress reduction is the key to surviving during these difficult times."

Dr. Hall uses a simple acronym that's easy to remember: S.E.L.F. Care.

S - Serenity-Memorize a positive affirmation such as I am strong or I will persevere. Research shows your body produces less cortisol, the stress hormone, when you practice positive self talk. Download your favorite music to your iPod. Sometimes, just listening to music reduces stress.

E - Exercise-Exercise is the greatest stress reducer. Take a daily walk around the block, around the office or up and down the stairs. Get a buddy system with a close friend and hold them accountable to get out of bed and get moving every day. Studies show exercise produces endorphins that will help you see your job situation and future with hope.

L - Love-The natural impulse is to retreat in shame and isolation. Force yourself to get together with supportive family and friends who lift you up in this time of stress. Text, call or email the people you love for emotional support. Get out and volunteer; it provides an opportunity for social support and networking, and you may make a contact that could lead to your next job.

F - Food-Food is medicine. Food changes your mood. Eating breakfast sets your metabolism and regulates your mood for the day. Eat foods rich in Omega 3's, up to1-3 grams-a-day, to reduce depression and stress, but check with your doctor first. Keep B6 foods around during your stress-filled days. B6 foods help the body produce serotonin, the stress reducing hormone. Grab a banana, eat a turkey or tuna sandwich or munch on some sunflower seeds.

During times of extreme stress, Dr. Hall recommends planting the seeds of HOPE in your family, with her simple acronym H.O.P.E. for help with stress.

H - Honesty-Be honest with your kids. They need to know what's going on in your life. Set up a weekly family meeting to discuss the struggles and solutions, and create confidential time to be honest with your spouse (but never before bed). This disclosure helps reduce stress and depression.

O - Optimism-Every obstacle is an opportunity. This is the time to see what you are made of. Be creative. Find work doing yard maintenance, stocking shelves or delivering pizza. Set up a neighborhood co-op to share, rather than pay for babysitting, home maintenance or yard work.

P - Perseverance-Fall down 40 times, get up 41. There will be rejection during this time, so teach your family resilience through S.E.L.F. care. These practices are what will sustain you through all of life's trials.

E - EnJoy-If ever in your life, now is the time to create three watering holes of joy. We know a family that plays together, stays together®. Go for a walk with your family. Play family games like Monopoly and Scrabble for free online at Pogo.com. Pop some popcorn and put a funny movie in the DVD player you can watch together. Don't ever forget what brings you joy.

About Dr. Hall
Dr. Kathleen Hall, internationally recognized lifestyle expert in stress and work/life balance and founder and C.E.O. of The Stress Institute and Mindful Living Network, has been featured on major media including The Today Show, CNN, FOX, ABC News, CBS, Oprah & Friends Radio, Good Morning America Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Money, Business Week, Parents, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple and Woman's Day. She is the author of A Life in Balance, a 2008 Mom's Choice Book Award winner and 2007 Nautilus Book Award winner and Alter Your Life. Dr. Hall is a contributing writer for PINK magazine. If you would like more tips for stress, please visit the website -- http://www.StressInstitute.com.

To schedule an interview with Dr. Hall, please contact Jo-Anne Smith at (404) 495-5350 or (404) 754-7844.

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