Stress Busters for the Overwhelmed Woman

A woman’s stresses are her crown jewels, but the stressors of some days can literally make you want to pull out Soothing Teaevery follicle one by one. Children running wild like college students on Spring Break, a partner’s bad day causes them to regard you with the warmth of a burned rump roast – any of these situations would drive a saint crazy. Let’s not mention that perhaps housework or college coursework might be piling up as if a dump truck paid you a visit. Consider these stress busters that many inundated women find successful.

Soothing Teas: Relaxing and Healthy

Enjoy a cup of tea in a place of solitude if possible and focus on yourself for a few moments. Chamomile is a popular herb in calming teas and provides a pleasant taste and aroma that fosters a sense of serenity. Kava tea blends alleviate serious stress and tension, and it elicits a response in the amygdala of the brain where stress responses initiate. Local grocers typically carry many teas featuring special formulation fostering calming and soothing properties.

Warm Bath: An Ideal Way to Recharge

Warm, aromatic bubble baths can be satisfying any time but particularly after a hectic day. Whether the tub is spacious, jetted, or small and somewhat cramped, it can still provide an exceptional respite for relaxation. Scented bubbles, a good novel, and maybe that cup of tea are sure to peel away the layers of tension that every day stress enfolds upon hard-working women.

Meditation for Stress Relief

One misconception about meditation is that one must sit in the lotus position humming and repeating a mantra. This behavior at work or school, and even at home, might draw some stares of bewilderment, but fortunately, meditation for stress relief is possible without such antics. You may sit in any position in a quiet, comfortable spot for few moments to simple close your eyes and free your mind to positive, uplifting thoughts in meditation.

Screaming: The Immediate Stress Buster

Quickly becoming a favorite stress reliever for women, a genuine scream of frustration has remarkable anxiety relieving abilities. Scientific studies indicate a number of reactions that screaming has on the body both physiologically and emotionally, and the primary discovery is that the act has a profound cathartic effect on people. Choose your place and time to implement scream therapy cautiously for obvious reasons.

Don’t let stress drag you down. Alleviate it with any of these tried and true stress busting methods, and get your day, and your emotional well-being back on track.

Fighting Spring Allergies with the Right Foods

Another Spring Returns

Each year, spring rolls around with relief from the frigid temperatures and snow woes of winter. For seasonal allergy sufferers, though, spring comes with a whole new set of pains. Like all medications, decongestants and antihistamines taken for allergies have their share of side effects, and aren’t recommended for long-term use. So, instead of stocking up on medication this season, stock up on these foods that help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Fresh Fruit

Spring and summer are high time for fresh fruits, so you have multiple antioxidant-heavy, vitamin-rich options. Citrus fruits bursting with vitamin C, like oranges and grapefruit, fight histamines that cause allergy symptoms, while fruits high in quercetin reduce inflammation, which alleviates swelling in the nasal passages. Quercetin-heavy fruits include apples, pears, peaches, cherries and grapes.


Omega-3 fatty acids are health power houses that should be part of any healthy diet, but increasing omega-3 consumption during allergy season reduces inflammation and helps you breathe easier. Foods rich in omega-3s include fish, such as salmon, albacore and mackerel, nuts and pumpkin seeds, kidney and pinto beans, and avocados.


The spicy foods you eat that always open up your nasal passages, they do so for a reason. These foods contains chemicals that product their hot taste and cause their powerful effects on the body, which is why they are worth incorporating into your diet in greater quantity during allergy season.

Onions and Apples

Onions, like apples, contain quercetin, which reduces inflammation, but they also contain an enzyme known as lachrymatory-factor synthase, an irritant you know well if you have ever cut into a potent onion and welled up with tears. While it’s a pain to cry while cooking, it also clears out your sinuses.

Garlic and Ginger

Garlic and ginger both contain naturally occurring chemicals that reduce inflammation, according to UCLA’s Integrative Medicine, but garlic also thins mucus. The capsaicin in cayenne and other peppers are also mucus-thinning and stimulate the sinuses, which, according to UCLA, increases air circulation.

According to Time Magazine, a study of children in Crete found that those who ate diets high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil and fish suffered fewer symptoms of allergies and asthma. What you eat matters, and having a pantry full of foods that enhance immunities, reduce inflammation, and are high in antioxidants can get you through the allergy season without reaching for a bottle of pills.

Sleeplessness and Womens Health

Sleep is as essential to overall womens health as water and food. Without adequate sleep, your body cannot function properly during the day. Lack of sleep can affect concentration, mood and even motor skills. According to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch, chronic sleep loss can factor into more serious health concerns such as high blood pressure, weight gain and a weakened immune system.

You Are NOT Alone

Women of all ages often struggle with getting enough sleep each night. For many women, taking care of everyone else takes priority over taking care of themselves. Hectic schedules, family responsibilities, money worries and relationship concerns can contribute to over-stimulated minds and lack of time actually spent in bed trying to sleep. Women also can suffer sleep issues as a result from simply being female. A woman’s menstrual cycle can affect quality of sleep as can menopause or pregnancy.

Problems women may face due to lack of sleep vary and include:

  • Weight gain: Chronic sleep loss affects metabolism. You may begin to see weight gain as your body’s hormonal level fluctuates.
  • Mood: Just as young children are cranky when they miss their naps, a woman’s mood can become irritable and unpleasant after several nights of restless or little sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your patience level and ability to concentrate.
  • Memory: Sleep allows the brain to recharge, helping it to later process new information easier. Chronic sleeplessness can affect memory and comprehension abilities.
  • Hypertension: The Mayo Clinic reports, “People who sleep five hours or less a night may be at a higher risk for developing high blood pressure or worsening already high blood pressure.” Sleep may help with regulating stress hormones. Overactive stress hormones can lead to high blood pressure.
  • Safety: Anytime you suffer from sleeplessness, safety issues can arise. Daytime drowsiness from inadequate sleep can cause you to nod off when driving. This is extremely dangerous for you, your passengers and other motorists and pedestrians. Chronic drowsiness can cause inattentiveness, which is dangerous when working with any type of machinery or even performing household chores such as cooking.

We Understand Womens Health…

If you are suffering from chronic sleeplessness, you are not alone. More than 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. These can range from sleep apnea to insomnia and restless legs syndrome. Talk to you doctor if you are having difficulty sleeping. He or she can help.

Book Helps Men Support and Understand Breast Cancer Patients

A Book About Breast Cancer, and more…

Sometimes the gift of a book can help someone you care about gain the information and perspective necessary to get through a tough time. What if that tough time involves a dad, brother or friend who doesn’t quite know what to do when breast cancer attacks someone he loves, whether mother, sister, wife or daughter?

A good choice might be to give him a copy of John W. Anderson’s book Stand by Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men.

Learning the Hard Way

Learning the right ways to give support during cancer treatment may not come naturally for a man, but Anderson’s book can make the process easier. During the 31 years prior to its publication, Anderson learned more about breast cancer than anyone except a doctor should have to know. He lost his mother to the bewildering disease in 1988 following her 10-year battle.

Thirteen years later, Anderson’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer despite no family history of the illness. Another year passed, and his younger sister was in treatment for breast cancer. Over the years, the author as also watched two friends fight breast cancer. Somewhere along the way, he realized that he wanted to be a resource for other men trying to support mothers, wives, sisters and daughters through the illness.

From Black to Pink

Anderson assigned colors to each chapter of his book. The first chapter is represented by black for the darkness of first feelings following the diagnosis. The last chapter is pink for the cheerful feelings that accompany arriving at the 5-year remission mark. Along the way, Anderson explains what to expect about surgery, chemotherapy, radiation treatment, reconstructive surgery and the years of worry afterward about whether the cancer will return.

The book combines anecdotes from Anderson’s and other men’s experiences on the sidelines of breast cancer. It arms readers with information about research and resources as well as strategies for handling the medical, psychological and emotional surprises that arise when providing support.

Listening, Loving, Laughing

In particular, Anderson emphasizes listening well from the moment of diagnosis. Instead of trying to take over and solve the situation, he suggests that as caregivers, men need to be prepared to reflect women’s emotions. This may involve validating anger or laughing during lighter moments.

Men need to follow where these emotions lead rather than minimizing, ignoring or reacting to them in a way that stirs conflict. Anderson indicates that it is the woman’s illness, so the woman has a right to her feelings.

In the case of a husband and wife, reassurance also means reaching out with affection and intimacy if and when the wife is ready.

Positivity and Appreciation

Men can help surround the woman who has breast cancer with positive influences — a support team of friends, doctors, and people with similar spiritual beliefs. Anderson says that when possible, male caregivers need to remove any people who make the patient feel negative.

Everyone within this support group should strive to help the patient see that a happy ending is more than likely if the breast cancer was detected early. Whichever hand the patient has been dealt, her supporters should reinforce the preciousness of the here and now.

Remember that when you give this kind of book to a friend who is troubled about the illness of an important woman in his life, you help him to stand by her and you stand by both of them.

Should We Rehearse Our Daily Conversations?

Daily Conversations Matter…

The old saying “It’s easier to plan for the battle after it’s already been fought” applies all too often to simple daily conversations we have. How often have you analyzed a conversation you had after the fact and thought of a better way to say something or a more effective way of making your point? We all do this to varying degrees. Knowing this, should we rehearse for our daily conversations ahead of time? The answer may depend on who you will be conversing with during the day and your core personality.

Men and Women Speak a “different language”

Research has confirmed what most of us already know men and women communicate differently. Women are dialogue oriented while men are action oriented. Women focus on feelings and emotions while men focus on fixing things. Of course, there are exceptions to these stereotypes, but they are accurate overall. The difference in approach between men and women when they talk often leads to confusion and frustration.

The idea of rehearsing your conversations with the men in your life may actually help eliminate some of the confusion and frustration. By rehearsing ahead of time, you can narrow down your point and figure out how best to express what you are trying to say in a way that will both capture your conversational partner’s attention and ensure that he understands what you want to accomplish by having the conversation.

Woman to Woman Talk is Easier

On the other hand, if your conversations will be with other women, the need to rehearse ahead of time may not be as pressing. Women speak the same language. We understand where the conversation is going, why the “touchy-feely” build up is important, and can often read between the lines much better than our male counterparts. Not only do we understand each other better when having a simple, non-confrontational discussion, but we also tend to handle confrontation and disputes similarly as well.

Heated Conversations

If you anticipate that the conservation may become heated, resolving the dispute will probably go much smoother if your are talking to a female than with a male. This is not to say that women are any better at handling verbal disputes than men, only that two women (or two men) stand a batter chance of resolving a verbal dispute than a woman and a man. Resolving a dispute, or finding a solution to a problem, is always easier when you clearly understand what the issue is, where the other person is coming from, and what they are trying to accomplish.

Studies Support Different Communication Techniques

Numerous studies support the basic premise that men and women communicate differently, but most of us don’t need a study to tell us this. If you think back to the last conversation that you found yourself over-analyzing and second guessing, the chances are it was with a man. Likewise, if you have ever found yourself planning ahead for an important conversation, it was also likely for a conversation with a man. Rehearsing ahead of time for daily conversations may be particularly helpful, therefore, if the conversations will be with a man.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Along with rehearsing daily conversations that you may have with the men in your life, you may wish to rehearse other daily conversations as well if you are someone who finds verbal communication to be stressful or intimidating. Both men and women can be social butterflies or quiet bookworms, with a wide range of communication styles in between. If you lean toward the quiet bookworm type, then spending a few minutes each day practicing for common social situations in which you will be expected to converse with strangers is a great way to put yourself at ease when you actually find yourself in one of those situations.

Hopefully your daily conversations will not resemble a battle; however, planning, practicing and rehearsing ahead of time for upcoming conversations is unlikely to do any harm, and may actually prevent a battle from erupting.