Posts Tagged ‘stress relief’

“Greiging” of House Well-Timed

Monday, February 13th, 2017

As someone who writes a lot about stress relief, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve missed a silent stress reliever that’s been coloring the interior lives of Americans everywhere.

It’s subtle, silent, nearly odorless, and goes by the name “Repose Gray.”

I didn’t discover it in Psychology Today, the New York Times, or a ponderous positive psychology research article. “Repose Gray” came to me courtesy of Ryan the painter.

“Everybody’s using it,” he said. “It’s so calming.”

Ryan and his crew arrived on the heels of the shocking realization that my “new house” had actually not been painted since it was built, nearly a dozen years ago.

Since then, much has changed. Presidents have come and gone. The last “child” has flown the coop. And completely behind my back, vanilla walls – once the passion of realtors everywhere – have become passé.

“Creams colors are dated,” Ryan informed me. “You’re going to love this. The last three houses I’ve done – all Repose Gray.”

Try as I might, I couldn’t remember seeing much gray. Taupe maybe. But gray?

I mentioned this supposed trend to a few friends, who quickly informed me that their walls are painted in Repose Gray. Also their daughter’s, their son’s, and several first cousins’ because “It’s so calming. Everyone’s using Repose Gray.”

National trending for the color gray (apart from 50 Shades) still seemed unlikely, so I took to the Internet. Sure enough. More than 1,000 Pinterest posts popped up to praise and analyze Repose Gray in excruciating detail. They described it as “greige”- a gray with beige/taupe undertones and a “wee bit” of purple with a Light Reflective Value (LRV) of 60. One commentator, as if describing a fashion model, reported that it “holds itself well, sitting in the light zone” but is “not TOO washy.”

Suddenly, I felt as with-it as someone who had not noticed that her appliances – Harvest Gold and Avocado Green – were a little dated.

Lured by overdue trendiness and the prospect of calm, I didn’t waste a minute.

“Let’s do it”! I declared to Ryan, who quickly ushered in a crew of four to participate in the graying of my house.

With ladders and drop cloths everywhere, furniture pushed into the center of the room and all the light switch plates and screws in a bucket for safekeeping, I must say that Repose Gray did not arrive with an instant calming effect.

But little by little – and especially after the painting frenzy ended – the greige began to grow on me. There is something calming these days about a color that just is, without making bold and colorful statements. A quiet background color that shows off occasional flights of fancy without being a flight of fancy. An appropriate backdrop for a quieted TV.

Or maybe I’m just hoping that the new calm of my home’s interior will somehow rub off on my own.

If that’s the case, maybe we should order the stuff by the tank car, allow it as a medical deduction, require it for FHA loans. Repose Gray could become more than maintenance. More than freshening up. More than fingerprint removal.

It could become a national movement.

 

Copyright 2017 Pat Snyder

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Picture-Perfect Lunch Hours

Monday, May 4th, 2009

After lunching the other day with a lawyer friend on a really tight schedule,  I remembered a crazy-busy time in my own life when the best lunch break involved throwing a camera in my bag and sneaking out of the office to shoot pictures.  Trees were a favorite, and flowers.  Anything natural and interesting and right-brain happy.  Anything but writing another legal analysis.

I’m sure I’m not alone here.  Anyone else have a favorite stress-relief break from the office?  Or a mini-break you wouldn’t try again?  Do tell.

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Inner Peace

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Strengths-Based Stress Relief is especially effective for achieving inner peace.  Try these exercises.  They’ve been tested by positive psychology researchers.

Balancing Our Lives

Sue Bender’s Plain and Simple trilogy is remarkable for its depth in exploring ways to balance and simplify our lives.  In the first, Plain and Simple, she shares what she learned while living with the Amish.  The second, Everyday Sacred, explores the sacred in everyday life, and the final book, Stretching Lessons, helps us stretch beyond our comfort zones.

Beyond Burnout by Gary Cherniss focuses on moving beyond the stress and disillusionment often felt by those in helping professions, including public service employees.

Not much time for stress relief?  Dr. Rachel Harris’ 20-Minute Retreats offers simple self-led exercises to squeeze into the busiest day.  And they’re not all 20 minutes.  For example,  a one-minute exercise suggests looking at an annoying person as if he was a work of art.

On a similar note is Jennifer Louden’s The Woman’s Comfort Book, which offers themed comforting activities, e.g., creating a comfort network and conducting courage rituals.

Practical and focused toward balancing work and personal lives is Dr. Barbara Mackoff’s The Art of Self-Renewal: Balancing Pressure and Productivity On and Off the Job, which offers specific techniques for issues like leaving the office behind at the end of the day.

Using Humor to Cope

Compassionate Laughter: Jest for Your Health by Patty Wooten, R.N., explains the health benefits of laughter and how it can help us cope with caregiving.

Laughter: A Scientific Investigation by Robert R. Provine is the fascinating result of a 10-year project of studying and writing about laughter.

Good-Hearted Living by Steve Wilson is a day-by-day guide that helps put World Laughter Tour laughter club practices in action for a happier, more peaceful life.

For those who enjoy humor writing as a form of stress relief, How to Write Funny, a collection of humorists’ essays about their craft, provides important insights into seeing – and relating – the funny side of life. The anthology includes pieces by notables like Tom Bodett, Bill Bryson and Jennifer Crusie.

Caregiving Relief

Stuck in the Middle: Shared Stories and Tips for Caregiving Your Elderly Parents includes first-person accounts of caregiving experiences and practical information on geriatric health issues, legal issues and housing options.  Authors are Barbara McVicker and Darby McVicker Puglielli.

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Life Balance Resources

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Sometimes the best way to get life back in balance is to sit back in a quiet space and take inventory of how life has gotten off the track.  But where to start?

The good news is that there are plenty of resources for taking an objective inventory of your values and priorities and how they stack up against the way you’re spending your time and resources.  And there are many tools, including humor and laughter, for relieving stress.

You’ll find some favorite resources for time management, organizational management and stress relief on the dropdown menus below.  And don’t be shy.  Share your own favorite tools with others in The Dog Journal.

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