How to Not Stress About Stress

by Enid Zuckerman,
Canyon Ranch Founder

Stress – ha! – what an interesting subject! Who among us does not deal with stress on some level? Of course, there is good stress, and there is the bad stress. The trick is learning to combat the bad and hold on to the good.

I’ve decided we all need be our own BFFs and have little chats with ourselves. We should consciously decide what’s really good for us, and what is not. For instance, I believe one good way to start the day is to not listen to the talking heads on TV. Do we really have to know all the breaking news all the time? Can we change whatever it is? I’ll admit to my little secret: I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I find myself pushing the buttons on the remote to Bravo and the E channel. Nothing earth shattering goes on there. I don’t see how any show with machine guns and pistols pointing everywhere can be good for your stress level – so I am outta there!

Also, after all the years of living in the desert, I’m going out for morning walks. It’s beautiful beyond words, it gets my heart rate up and is a change of pace from using the indoor gym. I still do that, too, but I'm not so hard on myself anymore. Getting older is hard work, which is where my BFF comes in. I keep hearing from our guests who tell me about the wonderful things they do here to reduce stress, and my BFF and I are listening!

It’s never too late to learn new things and tune in to your inner voice. I’ve realized that when I do get whacked out over something, it usually looks totally different in the morning – and what a waste of energy to get all worked up over something that rights itself!

Getting lost in a book always helps me, too. I’ve become a Kindle person and just go from one book to the other. Some people prefer a book in hand – no matter! – it’s hard to feel stressed when you’re deep in a good story.

It’s great to give yourself permission to have a massage on a regular basis, too. It’s not about being spoiled, although it does feel wonderful. Massages help reduce stress levels and are therapeutic. The same goes for a great facial!

I also love to watch fun movies – at home. It’s nice to get out, of course, but I don’t much care to schlep to movie theaters. Besides, with all the options on TV now, you can always find something interesting or entertaining to watch in your own cozy home.

In our stressful times, it’s important to know what’s not important. We had an incident at our house recently (yes, houses can turn on you!). A bad leak really messed things up. We were blocked off from one side of the house for a bit. I kept reminding myself that there are people who have true disasters in their lives. In the scheme of things, this was like a test to see how we could deal with an inconvenience. It was a matter of positive thinking!

Remember, no one knows you better than you know yourself. Little chats between you and you can be very soothing. And that is my hint for the moment. I hope it works for you as it does for me.