Wednesday, December 7, 2011



Hello.  Welcome to the Center for Health and Wellness Blog.

It’s December and we are in the middle of the holiday season.  This busy time of year means an increase in our stress levels.  Many of us experience a combination of joy and frenzy during this time, the result of too much to do and too little time in which to get it done.  Each year, my goal is to enjoy all the festivities and traditions of the holiday while attending to my normal routine.  This year my challenge is greater than ever…..I’ve been called to jury duty for the first two weeks of December.   And, I must admit that all that I want to do is to shriek at the top of my lungs and pour me a good dose of the poor me’s!  I did engage in a few ranting and raving sessions with friends but then I pushed the thought of jury duty out of my head for several days.

I teach stress management and often say that one of the strategies to use to alleviate stress is to “live in the moment”.  In his book, Managing Stress (6th ed.), Brian Seaward, PhD, states that “Relaxation is said to be achieved when the present moment is fully experienced and appreciated.”  I have been using these words to look at my commitments during this two week jury duty summons to explore solutions for readjusting my schedule.  Looking at my calendar with a positive perspective gave me the ability to find the needed solutions.  As a result of all this extra work, my connections with the colleagues I reached out to for assistance in covering my teaching commitments has strengthened.   And, I’m relying on technology more than usual to provide continued support to my counseling clients.

At the moment, I am “on call” for jury duty.  This means that I have to call-in twice a day to find out if I need to report to the Court House.  I’m staying close to my home office and am getting caught-up with my paperwork.  My desire to shriek, to rant and rave, and to throw things has dissipated.  Ramping –up my exercise routine and maintaining a positive perspective are strategies that are proving to be effective in keeping my emotional balance during this highly stressful period in my life. 

I’m sure that I’ll have need of additional stress management strategies for the duration of my jury duty.    I’ll keep you posted.

Until the next time, look for the possibilities.

Thank you for spending time with me.

Andrea G. Shenkman, M.S.

Adjunct Professor, Stress Management

Kaplan University




Laurie Hansen said...


Indeed, the "combination of joy and frenzy" of the season is upon us! Thanks for the thoughtful reminder of living in the moment! I wish you a stress-free holiday season!
~Laurie Hansen

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