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Managing Stress

A growing number of women are experiencing the challenges of being a caregiver. Whether they’re looking after children, elderly parents or a sick relative, the stress can take a physical toll on even the most hardy individuals.

The editors of Caring Today magazine offer these tips to work a little relief into busy schedules:

• Make time for a hobby. There’s no need to feel guilty for taking time to have fun. Consider a hobby a tonic for your health. Paint a picture, knit a sweater, strum a guitar or hit a few golf balls.

• Take a 10-minute vacation. Can’t go on that holiday you really need? Take a 10-minute fantasy vacation instead. Close your eyes and picture yourself in a place that makes you happy. Focus on the details-the sights, sounds, smells and feelings-to bring the scene alive.

• Try the tennis ball trick. For a quick mood boost, roll a tennis ball over tight muscles. But make sure you use a firm pressure-a light stroke stimulates instead of calms.

• Write out your worries. Telling your troubles to a friend can make you feel better. So can venting on paper. In fact, study after study suggests that jotting down your feelings about an upsetting situation relieves stress, boosts immunity and results in fewer visits to the doctor.

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