De-Stress During the Holiday Season … and Beyond

Dreamtime Wellness ™

Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind and Spirit

Got Stress?? 

Stress 465cd4826004c9b136a5623d1de54d11

You are not alone. And the Holiday Season can be an especially stressful time for many with added financial strain, grief and sadness over those we have loved and lost, and overwhelming, over-commitments. 

According to the 2014 annual Stress in America™ survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) the Top 4 sources of stress are –

Money, Work, Family Responsibilities, and Health Concerns.

The APA study also found –

  •  72% of Americans reported feeling stressed about money at least some of the time during the past month.
  • 22% said that they experienced extreme stress about money during the past month
  • Parents, younger generations and lower-income households (less than $50,000.00 annual income) have higher stress than others overall
  • Some people are putting their health care needs on hold because of financial concerns.
  • Stress about money impacts relationships
  • 22% say they are not doing enough to manage their stress.
  • American stress levels have been trending down since the annual survey first began in 2007, but still “higher than healthy levels.”

Here’s Some Good News – 

  • Americans who have some emotional support report lower stress levels
  • Help is Available!

If you are experiencing negative stress in your life, or feel overwhelmed by stress seek help! Talk to your doctor. Ask about professional counseling. Look into resources in the community. Talk to family and friends for emotional support.

Remember – You are not alone! Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life. Some stress is even considered positive, such as the stress that motivates us to accomplish a task. But too much negative stress can negatively affect your emotional and physical health and wellbeing. Especially when it occurs on a daily basis.

Stress Response – The response to stress can be physical and emotional tension, pain, lowered immune response, and inflammation. Chronic stress can lead to chronic disease including high blood pressure, endocrine, metabolic, autoimmune, and mental health disorders.

RELAX and DE-STRESS – The opposite of the stress response is the relaxation response. Methods to relax and de-stress include: acupuncture, art therapy, deep breathing, exercise, hypnosis, laughter/humor, massage, mindfulness, meditation, music and dance, reading, reiki, tai chi, and yoga. Consider incorporating complementary and integrative therapies into your ‘wellness care plan.’ Learn techniques that you can incorporate daily for ‘best results.’ 


REMEMBER to BREATHE. When stressed, people often breathe more shallow or even hold their breath. Breathing relaxation techniques are simple to learn, fast and effective to use, and available 24/7.

WALK or DRIVE by the OCEAN. Views of the water can change your psychology and physiology. Just ask Joey who is lucky to enjoy the View from the Dock every day! Take a drive along BackShore Gloucester or walk Good Harbor or Singing Beach and you will a relief of tension and experience your blood pressure lowering.

Lucky to Live on Cape Ann!

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Spring Cleaning for Your Health

Dreamtime Wellness ™ Photo copy

Spring is Just One Week Away! A welcome sight after the long winter we’ve had in New England. The mountains of snow are beginning to melt and signs of spring are finally cropping up.

Bluebird of Happiness

‘Bluebird of Happiness’.                                                          Photo Courtesy of Michael Chamness.                                        © Wings & Waves Photo Art. Gloucester MA.

Did You Make A New Years Resolution to Exercise? Have you been able to keep it, or has it gone by the wayside, like the ‘disappearing sidewalks’ that made getting around this winter more difficult? Even if you LOVE winter and winter sports like I do, the brutal winter temperatures made it difficult to get outside to exercise. Hopefully, you found your way to one of the many local gyms and fitness centers on Cape Ann and stayed on-tack with your exercise and/or weight reduction goals! If not….

The GOOD NEWS – You Can ‘Jump-Start Your Good Health’ ANY Time of the Year! 

Many people in New England feel as if they’ve been living in a cave during this, the second snowiest winter. Time to Take Off Your Winter Mask and Start SPRING CLEANING for Your Health!

Winter Skiing 2015 GMG

Spring is a good time to take a closer look at the goals you set at the beginning of the year and reevaluate where you stand with them. With warmer temperatures and more hours of daylight comes a renewed sense of energy and hope springs forth!

Hope Springs Eternal DTW

The World Health Organization (WHO) Definition of Health“a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Spring Cleaning generally is thought of as deep house cleaning, clearing out the cobwebs, sorting through your closets. Consider also a cleanse of mind, body and spirit to feel younger and rejuvenated!

SPRING CLEANING for Mind, Body, & Spirit

  • Sunlight Can Help Boost Serotonin, the brain chemicals that help you Feel Happy, Healthy and Well!  Have you noticed an extra spring in your step since the clocks moved ahead? I know I have! Increased serotonin levels promote improved mood. (“Everything in moderation.” Unfortunately, while boosting serotonin and a source of Vitamin D too much sunlight can have risks. For sun safety advice –
  • Get Moving. Enjoy Fresh Air, Exercise, the Company of Family and Friends as you enjoy the beautiful beaches and conservation land of Cape Ann. Along with physical benefits, exercise helps you think more clearly and improves mood. For a list of Cape Ann Beaches – and other places to walk –
  • Healthy Eating. Enjoying a ‘Rainbow of Colors’ of Fruits and Vegetables allows you to enjoy a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and anti-oxidants. Fresh is Best! Check out local CSA’s (Community Sustainable Agriculture) and other local stores with fresh, locally grown and organic options.

fruit and vegetable  on white background

  • Get Plenty of Sleep. Your body recharges while you sleep. You think more clearly after a good night’s sleep.
  • Think Positive! You have power over your own thoughts! Or, at least can train yourself to think more positively through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Self-Hypnosis. Choose Happy! Enjoy a Daily Attitude of Gratitude. Using a Gratitude Journal, list 3 things each day to be grateful This helps you to focus more on the positives, and let go of the negatives.

Resources for SPRING CLEANING for Mind, Body and Spirit –

A Sure Sign of Spring – The Cape Ann Farmer’s Market is Back! Indoor Cape Ann Farmer’s Market Saturday. March 21st! 21st!—Dates-of-the-March-Madness-Market-.html?soid=1102513894265&aid=29Fkb0PWAYU.

At the Cape Ann Farmer’s Market you will meet friends and neighbors coming out of hibernation after the long, cold winter. Shop for local fresh produce and seafood, fresh-cut flowers and crafts. Along with natural soaps and salves to soothe your tired muscles you may find a chair massage offered. The Cape Ann Farmer’s Market is sure to bring a smile to your face and warm your heart! Enjoy!

Wishing You a Happy, Healthy & Peaceful Spring!    ~ Karen Pischke, B.S.N., R.N.

Owner/Founder of Dreamtime Wellness™  Promoting Optimal Wellness for Body, Mind & Spirit Find us on Facebook –


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