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Stress Management: Pamper Yourself Within Budget

Rewarding yourself is a great way to relieve stress, while at the same time giving you the sense of accomplishing your goals. However, far too many people put too much tension in their lives by only rewarding themselves with far too big and expensive ways, that only cause more stress later on.

The best way to pamper yourself is to enjoy smaller rewards more often. Frequent, small rewards are far more effective than one big reward, especially after years of sacrifice. These rewards also do not have to be expensive, so stay within your budget. We all know this small reward system in relation to raising and training our pets and our children. Unfortunately, this advice goes untouched with many adult men and women. They ignore this principle with uniformly predictable results. The one common thread in every such case, the person totally underestimates the importance and value of his or her spare time.

The daily small reward, whether it is a game of pool or enjoying a quick television show, is the way to stay fresh and on top of your stresses each day. Stoic sacrifices for long periods of time, waiting for just one big reward, weaken you for stresses and undermine your efficiency, thus forming a vicious circle. Below are a few actual case studies that will help illustrate what we are discussing here:

1. One women, whose dream and big reward was to be her own boss at all costs, quit a good job as a sales clerk to open her own shop. She did it prematurely and without adequate market research. As a result, she has gone the past eight years without being able to afford any of her former little rewards, such as holidays, or even the simplest treat. Her health, which she took for granted and undervalued, is now beginning to crack from all of the stress.

2. A salesman in his mid forties bought a new house and once he moved in, his obsession was to build a large deck in the back. And because he enjoyed a little carpentry he decided to do all of the work himself rather than hire a professional to build it. He eventually finished it, but in the process he regretted wasting quality evening and weekend hours with his wife and kids. Even putting forth his best effort, he could not possibly build the deck as efficiently as an experienced contractor could, and ended up taking half the summer on the project. To make matters worse, he had left work early many days to do the carpentry and fell behind on his payments due to lack of pay for that time spent. This stress not only affected him, but his entire family as well.

3. A couple working different shifts spent a great portion of their income on a fancy house, and were unable to afford baby sitters or spend money on their own entertainment. They totally undervalued their spare time, which became devoted to tag-team baby sitting. They rarely saw their friends, and predictably grew to resent the house, the kids, and even each other, due to the enormous stress put on each other.



“Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet”

~~ annonymous


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Written by Dave Turo-Shields, ACSW, LCSW, CEC
President, CounselingPros.com, Kenosis Counseling, Inc.
622 W. Valley View Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana USA 46217
(c) Copyright 2005 CounselingPros.com, Inc.