with a mixture of water and a mild soap) and paper towels near equipment for patrons to use. Wash your hands after your workout. The gym should insist that members carry towels. If you plan to shower, take a separate, larger towel and shower shoes (keep them on to avoid athlete’s foot). Avoid as much skin-to-equipment contact as possible. Don’t wear short shorts or thong body suits without tights or biker shorts underneath.
Check for membership. Clubs with membership in the International, Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association tend to follow basic health and sanitary rules.
GIVE STRESS A RESTTake deep breaths. The key here is to be conscious of your breathing. Sit upright, and bring awareness to your breathing by following your breath as you inhale and exhale. Close your eyes and imagine you’re breathing so deeply that the air is coming in through your feet and out through the top of your head. After about four times, you’ll begin to feel calmer.
Meditate daily. Take five minutes to clear your mind and refocus. Sit cross-legged on the floor, with pillows to support you if necessary. Take three deep breaths and relax. Think of a word that eases your mind (e.g., peace, love). Focus on your chosen word and remain aware o
f your breathing.
Have a good stretch. Stress builds up in the neck, shoulders, and back, especially if you carry something heavy or participate in physically strenuous work. Sit comfortably in a chair. Interlace your fingers and place hands behind your head (not neck). Inhale and sit up tall with your shoulders relaxed. As you exhale, allow your head and arms to relax forward. After five deep breaths, release hands and slowly roll your head up to the starting position. Stretch frequently at your desk and take leisurely strolls during lunch. Exercise increases your stamina and releases chemicals that stabilize your mood.
Create a soothing atmosphere. If you can, play music (at a low volume when you’re at your desk or office). Surround yourself with items that make you feel relaxed or that make you smile.
Surround yourself with positive people. Nix the negativity by steering clear of chronic complainers, whether they’re professional colleagues, friends, or relatives. Instead, engage in positive interactions with encouraging family members and co-workers because these interactions are less stressful and their attitudes may affect you.
Communicate that you’re overwhelmed. Only commit yourself to things that you can realistically complete, otherwise, be honest about your inability to perform a particular task in a certain time frame. If you can’t meet a deadline, contact your clients and set a later date. Realize that it’s better for them to receive a superior product later than to get poor-quality work sooner. Also, let your co-workers know when you cannot take on additional tasks.
–Kellye Davis & Kirk Charles
GET YOUR ZZZ’s
Manage your beverage intake. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola drinks are all high in caffeine. Although alcohol is a depressant, research has shown that it, as well as tobacco, upsets