Yes, it is certainly a high stress time. With all the job responsibilities associated with being a RA and dealing with stressed out residents, the important question for all RAs is “How is your stress level and what are you going to do about it?”
You already know the futility of allowing your emotions to create more stress than necessary and over power your good judgment.
Instead of tensing up due to anticipation and too much to do, be proactive! Stop in your tracks…take a step aside…take a moment just for you!
Read on and you will learn a simple physical action that will take you out of your worrisome, negative future projecting head that may already be predicting a disastrous outcome. We’re going to use the body very purposely: to get into the present mode, where the past drops away and the future takes care of itself. We’ll also be burning off some of those pesky stress hormones that are causing so much mental turmoil and maybe physical discomfort. The result will be a release of stress that will make you feel better and increase your productivity during this very busy time of the year.
If you’ve realized that you’re stressed then you’ve already begun. Next you need to choose to do something about it.
So go ahead…try the “dime squeeze”. As you execute the body actions outlined below, take time to notice the resulting sensations. Follow the steps below and you’ll find the brief pause that refreshes and brings you back into mental and emotional balance.
Try the “dime squeeze.”
• First, put down everything that you are carrying, in your hands or on your back or shoulders.
• Next, begin by placing an imaginary dime between your shoulder blades.
• Open your mouth and blow air out as you squeeze the dime for a few seconds.
• Pay attention to what you feel in your upper body as you squeeze for a few seconds.
• Completely drop the dime, shoulders and arms.
• Focus on your upper back and your arms. Notice what you feel and where you feel it. Stay with the sensations until they are completely gone.
• Take the time you need and enjoy!
Do only one squeeze at a time. When you’re very stressed, you may need two or three, waiting about 60 seconds between each before you are able to reconnect to your body and feel the squeeze and release sensations fully. Each time, do it as if you’ve never done it before. Instead of anticipating sensations, simply notice what you feel, and where you feel it. It’s the process of looking that brings us into focus and helps us feel centered. Keep in mind; muscle sensations can vary, even within one day.
Use “the dime” to alleviate stress as you wind down the semester. Use it as well while studying or taking exams.
Remember, the more you use it, the more effective it will be.
Submitted by Leah Cooper, MACP, Steal A Moment, Inc.
Copyright, Leah Cooper, 1997, Vancouver, WA and 2000, 2001, Ewing, NJ for workshops, tapings, and written publications. Applicable laws apply.