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Making Life Better






9 Warning Signs of Stress

by Tom Koziol 2005©

Stress is the nastiest 4 letter word you ever met. Donít stress, I know it is six letters but it packs the wallop of the meanest 4 letter word you ever heard.

Stress can affect your health and keep you from being all you can be to borrow a phrase recently made popular by the U.S. Army.

Psychologists, scientists and those who study this particular beast say its origins may be physical, financial, environmental, social or emotional. I say that covers everything in which we as humans engage so to bypass a long discourse, letís just say stress is all around us and manifests itself through one or more of the aforementioned categories.

Given this is true, there must exist commonalities that are recognizable so, if we choose, we can deal with it regardless of its particular origin. Of course, the medical types may disagree and say its source must be known before treatment.

I donít know about you, but just sitting in a waiting room stresses me out. Therefore, Iíd rather have general recognition parameters so I can at least sound intelligent should I have to transmit my self diagnosis to my doctor.

This way, we both have something we possibly recognize and may be can come to the same conclusion about it. Then, we can discuss treatment.

If you think this way, the following 9 warning signs will be what the doctor ordered, pun intended.

1. Anger at parents, siblings, friends. Comes on suddenly with no apparent real cause.
2. You feel overwhelmed at what use to be routine and want to withdraw to get away from it all.
3. Anxiety and/or constant worry are your new companions.
4. Depression and a lack of pleasure not only in what you used to enjoy but in everything.
5. Exhaustion accompanied by sleeplessness where you were at least half way energetic and enjoyed a tumble with the pillow.
6. If you have chronic conditions, they seem to be worsening yet your activity level hasnít changed.
7. You are irritable at the drop of a hat. Anyone, anytime can trigger your irritation.
8. You no longer have the ability to concentrate. Your are disorganized and devil may care about it.
9. You let your appearance and/or your environment (home, work area, etc.) go to the dogs.

I know these are mostly general in nature, but think about it for a moment. Most of us non stressed homo sapiens donít get angry or irritated at the least little thing, we get an almost good nightís sleep with regularity, our tasks/job doesnít overwhelm us and we love what we love and we continue to do them.

I present this list because as a former caregiver, I noticed it happening to care receivers and some caregivers. If 4 or more of these conditions apply, it is time to have a talk with someone. It is time to stop and smell the coffee/roses/catnip or whatever you like to smell.

It is your life and your health. As long as you have the power to control them, why wouldnít you?


by Tom Koziol 2005©

Nobody talks about it. Nobody thinks about it.

Until it happens.

Then it goes to hell in a hand basket. Nobody has a plan for it. Nobody prepares for it.

It could be anything, right? But it isnít. It is much more important than anything.

It is happening as you read these words to approximately 40 million Americans. Nobody knows the number for the world, but it is huge.

It happens at one particular moment and it is at that moment one of two events takes place. Event one makes you a caregiver or event two makes you a care receiver. 

Ronald Reagan proved position, power and wealth matter not an iota. Christopher Reeve became a ďchampion of the causeĒ after it happened to him. The average Joe and Mary Sixpack are too numerous to mention but as you can imagine they comprise the bulk of the caregiving/care receiving population.

You see, about one in six Americans is either a caregiver or a care receiver and very few of them are prepared for the responsibilities inherent in the task. Regardless of the level of preparation, life has changed and you are thrust into a new role.

New responsibilities, tasks, adjustments, questions, opinions, actions and reactions seem to flood you like a tsunami. But, unlike the clean up efforts in the aftermath of a tsunami when agencies, governments, and peoples from all over the world come to the rescue, there doesnít seem to be a soul available to help you.

Fortunately, thatís just a perception as there is a free manual available for download at that is the blueprint for everyone in the caregiving arena. It takes the process step by step to insure both sides of the equation, giver and receiver, have access to a quality program suited to their particular situation and needs.

It is packed with resources that will lighten the burden and provide a clear path on which to proceed. Updates are always free and senior2senior encourages everyone to tell others where they can get their own personal copy.

Since no one is immune from it, it only makes sense to take at least minimal steps to help ourselves before it visits us and puts us in one of the only two categories it knows. After all, who is better prepared to handle your personal it than you?

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