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Managing stress in a pair of tap shoes
First, I just want to say a big “thank you,” for taking the time to read the ACES blog. I know you’re busy and your time is important. We love getting to share our stories with you, so, thanks!
Actually, being busy is what I really wanted to talk about—being busy and feeling stressed. And I’ll get to the tap shoes in a moment.
Would you say you’ve been feeling stressed out lately? Maybe just sometimes? Or all the time?
This can be a really stressful time of year. My son is a senior in high school and we have been visiting potential colleges for next year. He is working on college applications, and the whole process is stressful.
Both of my sons are in school activities that require keeping up with performance dates, deadlines for fees, or papers that must be signed. So many papers to sign! I love seeing my kids grow in their talents and skills, and I love being there for performances, etc., but I have to be honest, trying to keep up with everything can be a little stressful. Especially when I add those things on top of a wonderful, but oftentimes busy, work schedule.
Sorry to vent, but I’m sure you can fill in the blanks of what is stressing you out in your own life. I’m no expert on stress management, but I’ve been learning a lot from some of our experts in ACES about stress, and the bottom line is: we have to find a way to manage our stress. The unfortunate truth is that stress is bad for our bodies and our brains if we experience stress for long periods of time. So we have to learn ways that work for us to deal with the stress we face in life.
One way I am tackling my own stress is that I started taking a tap dance class for adults. Every Tuesday night, I join a dance studio of other (probably also stressed out) women and we tap away our worries for 45 minutes. It is the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It is, literally, a stress eraser for me.
Need some ideas on how to deal with stress? Back in August, we hosted Chelsey Byers Gerstenecker, an Extension family life educator and Erica Thieman, assistant professor in the ACES Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and the Agricultural Education Program for an #askACES chat and podcast on stress. They are experts on stress and stress management. They shared both the effects of stress and ways to manage our stress. It was such a helpful conversation.
If you’re feeling stress, I encourage you to check out the podcast featuring our stress experts. Find it here https://soundcloud.com/aces-illinois/managing-stress.