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The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist (tm)

NOV 2010, No. I

Fight when you can
Take flight when you must
Flow like a dream
In the Phoenix we trust!

Table of Contents

Notes from the Stress Doc ™
Shrink Rap I:  Working Kind:  Find a Stress Buddy & Relax, by Vickie Elmer

Shrink Rap II:  Stress for the Holidays, Brenda Purves, South Source
[The above articles use the Stress Doc as an expert source.]


Testimonials:  Ft. Belvoir/Army Community Services
Readers Submissions:  Paraprosdokian Sentences, Ear Infection
Phone Coaching-Consultation-Counseling with the Stress Doc ™
Offerings:  Books, CDs, Training/Marketing Kit:  Email stressdoc@aol.com or go to www.stressdoc.com for more info.

Notes from the Stress Doc™:

As it has been for many folks, this year, personally, was tough economically and psychologically.  Organizations and companies cut back on conferences and training.  Money pressure was palpable.  Slings and arrows definitely punctured the ego at times.  Fortunately, this Fall I was able to qualify for a Military and Family Life Consulting (MFLC) Position.  The month at Ft. Campbell, KY really brought home the challenges for the soldiers and spouses on the front lines -- whether overseas or at home.  I recently shared my thoughts in an essay, "A Painful Paradox of Patriotism or Turning the ‘50s Beat into ‘60s Beef ."  Since returning in mid-Oct, work has begun to pick up.  I can only hope it's a sign of some positive movement in the economy for us all.

A testimonial from two recent programs at Ft. Belvoir, VA/Army Community Services, just arrived.  Despite all the uncertainties of being self-employed, the testimonial brings to life why I stubbornly persist on this iconclastic path:

Mr.Gorkin, I collected a few comments from the office staff. I figured you could use these to show just how great your training is. I really must say I most enjoyed your great sense of humor and the creative learning pieces are priceless. Keep up the great work and come back anytime you wish. You are welcome here at ACS. Thank you for an awesome time.

Best wishes,

Sandra Mclean
Family Advocacy Specialist
Army Community Services
703-805-2693

"I enjoyed the process of developing a visual representation of the barriers to creativity and risk taking that our team experienced."...Laureen DuPree

"Wow what a great way to look at things such as team building and the bureaucracies that we all face. Glad you came Mr.Gorkin".....Sandra

"I thought it was very affective and fun!"....Breva Spencer

"It was helpful, and Loved that it was interactive. Keep up the Good work!!"...Nicole

"The morning session was very informative..and thought provoking. My FAP team really enjoyed this training session and we love the visual affects...put the drawing up on my wall.."...FAPM
---------------

Best wishes for a joyful and graceful holiday season and, of course...
Practice Safe Stress!

Overview:

1. Shrink Rap IVickie Elmer captures the power of finding a "stress buddy" and developing "Natural SPEED"
2. Shrink Rap II.  Brendan Purves, South Source:  As the hype around the holiday season seems to grow every year, so does the potential for holiday stress and holiday depression. South Source examines what's really behind feeling down at the holidays.

Shrink Rap I:

Just received an email from Vickie Elmer, freelancer and former writer for The Washington Post:

Mark,

I reworked the short piece I did for
The Washington Post for my blog - and now it's up and live. Here's a link that I hope you'll comment on and share with your network: http://workingkind.com/?p=93

Hope you're thriving and savoring the journey.  I still want to get to a Busy Women Retreat sometime - maybe after I achieve another of my goals.
--
Vickie Elmer
freelance writer


My blog:  WorkingKind.com
My profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/vickieelmer
My Twitter: WorkingKind
My motto at the moment: "Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present." - Albert Camus

----------------------

Working Kind
by Vickie Elmer

Find a stress buddy and relax a bit

Nov 09 2010


If stress at work keeps grabbing hold of you, you may need a “stress buddy” plus some strategies on saying "no" effectively.

Pouring on SPEED could help too – though not the run fast and work faster sort.

That’s advice of Mark Gorkin, a psychotherapist and author of “Practice Safe Stress.”  SPEED is his formula for natural stress reduction – and it means Sleep (six or more hours a night), Priorities, Empathy, Exercise and Diet.

All those pieces of SPEED are valuable to help keep workers from burnout, he said.

So will finding “a stress buddy at work,” he said, a coworker you trust. This colleague will allow you to vent and respond with what he calls “tender loving criticism.” This person is “in your corner and will challenge you a little,” he said, noting that his girlfriend often serves that role in his career and life.

Known as The Stress Doc, Gorkin feels stress most often when he has a number of programs back to back – he generally gives at least six to 10 speeches or seminars a month. He sometimes reschedules seminars and knows he must “be willing to disappoint people.”

Eating a good lunch and an afternoon snack will revive and sustain – and give a break from the pressures to produce. I am trying this by noshing on apples, raspberries and yogurt in the afternoon, or a handful of almonds and a glass of juice. I’ve also started using meditation or a short 15 minute nap to drain the stress and deliver more focus and creativity.

Gorkin has spoken on the value of letting go – of fear, of the wrong career or of too much stress in your life.  He believes in humor and community as powerful antidotes to stress. He  has helped create programs for military wives, small business owners and women, including a Busy Women’s Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia that sounds divine.

One of his sayings: “A firm no a day keeps the ulcers away and the hostility too.” Add to that a firm yes to stress-reducing health foods, a brisk walk and an empathetic friend and your stress levels shall be less.

A version of this first appeared in the "Washington Post Working," and I hold the copyright on this article.

For more stress relief and other advice, Mark Gorkin’s website (www.stressdoc.com) has links and resources galore.

Tags:
destress, friendship, Mark Gorkin, stress, stress at work, stress buddy, Stress Doc, stress reduction, The economy, working
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shrink Rap II:

Stress for the Holidays

Brendan Purves, South Source
http://source.southuniversity.edu/

Summary: As the hype around the holiday season seems to grow every year, so does the potential for holiday stress and holiday depression. South Source examines what's really behind feeling down at the holidays.


Eggnog toasting, turkey carvings, tree hunting, candle lighting, and hall decking are all associated with the time between Thanksgiving and New Year's, but for some Americans, this "Most wonderful time of the year," can bring stress and even depression.

A lot of factors can contribute to holiday stress. During the holidays, when most people's schedules are turned upside down with real and perceived responsibilities, stress can turn into holiday depression.

"People have problems when they try to control the season too much to make it a perfect remembrance," says Devin Byrd, chair of the department of Behavioral Sciences at South University - Savannah, Georgia. "It can be a huge letdown if you set your sights to high and you're not able to accomplish."

According to Mental Health America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all people live mentally healthier lives, stress around the holidays can come in a number of different forms including:

" Financial
" Too many activities
" Time with family
" Over-indulgence
" Being alone
" Memories

A lot of these causes of stress can come from having unreasonable expectations for the holidays, and trying to force friends and family into conforming to the concept of "the perfect day." To avoid this, Byrd believes it's important to be able to compromise and go with the holiday flow.

"Be flexible and understand that people need to make adjustments to schedules," he says. "There are times when things don't go according to plan and you have to be flexible. It can cause a lot of turmoil or it can cause a lot of stress if people don't acquiesce."

When shooting for that perfect moment, sometimes technology like digital cameras and social media sites causes the photographer, web poster, or Tweeter to miss the holiday, which can lead to disappointment, stress, and even depression.

"Technology is something that can be good to look back on these moments, but you can use it too much," Byrd says.

Holiday Stress


Clinical social worker and holiday stress expert Mark Gorkin (aka The Stress Doc) says  the main holiday stressors are the four Fs:

" Fantasy
" Family
" Food
" Finances

He believes that because of the way that the holidays are always portrayed in movies and on TV families can never live up to the "fantasy holiday."

"The media paints this picture," Gorkin says. "How many people have Clydesdale horses running through their front lawn?"

Part of this fantasy world is always unattainable because of family dynamics and the reality of what families are in the 21st Century.  "That's the new reality," Gorkin says. "There are a lot of blended families."

Because of the complications that exist within so many families, getting together for the holidays can be more like a visit to the set of Dr. Phil instead of the Waltons.  "If your family gathering is turning into a family therapy session; it's not the right time for it," Gorkin says.

When things aren't going so well, and family fights and disappointment reach new heights, many people turn to food for comfort, and what better time of year to stumble upon a plate of freshly made cookies than around the holidays.

But it's not just binging in the kitchen that get people in trouble around the holidays - department store binges can also lead to holiday stress. Because of the pressure to bring new and exciting presents to the table, and the realization of end of year earnings coming at roughly the same time, many holiday shoppers can fall into a real funk.
Gorkin recommends the gift of togetherness over the tangible holiday gifts that so many Americans get carried away with each year.

"Try to put presence ahead of presents," Gorkin says.

Holiday Stress Busters


Although there are a lot of ways to get into a funk over the holiday season, Byrd says  there are few good ways to avoid the holiday depression pitfalls.

"The main way is connecting with someone [you] trust," Byrd says.  "Take time for yourself to take in the good moments that are taking place," he adds.

Although these symptoms can be debilitating during the holidays, for most people they fade once the holidays are over, but if not, a doctor should be consulted.  "If in a couple of weeks you're still down; that's when I would say 'go to a professional,'" Gorkin says.

Whether you hate eggnog, are allergic to garland, think turkey is for the birds, or can't keep candles lit for eight straight nights, know that it only lasts for a couple of weeks, and that the holidays are only once a year.
 


Testimonials:

Ft. Belvoir, VA/Family Advocacy Program and Army Community Services
["Stress and Conflict" for FAP and "Generational Communication, Leadership and Team Building" for ACS staff]

November 22, 2010

Mr.Gorkin, I collected a few comments from the office staff. I figured you could use these to show just how great your training is. I really must say I mostly enjoyed your great sense of humor and the creative learning pieces are priceless. Keep up the great work and come back anytime you wish. You are welcomed here at ACS. Thank you for an awesome time.

Best wishes,

Sandra Mclean
Family Advocacy Specialist
Army Community Services
703-805-2693

"I enjoyed the process of developing a visual representation of the barriers to creativity and risk taking. that our team experienced."...Laureen DuPree

"Wow what a great way to look at things such as team building and the bureaucracies that we all face. Glad you came Mr.Gorkin".....Sandra

"I thought it was very affective and fun!"....Breva Spencer

"It was helpful, and Loved that it was interactive. Keep up the Good work!!"...Nicole

"The morning session was very informative..and thought provoking. My FAP team really enjoyed this training session and we love the visual affects...put the drawing up on my wall.."...FAPM
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Readers:

Subj:  Paraprosdokian Sentences
From: 
MDodic@aol.com

A  paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax.

- Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. 

- I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather, not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

- Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. 

- The last thing I want to do is hurt you.  But it's still on the list.

- Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 

- If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong. 

- We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

- War does not determine who is right -- only who is left. 

- Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. 

- The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

- Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't. 

- To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

- A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

- How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire? 

- Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs. 

- Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish. 

- I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks

- A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it. 

- Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR". 

- I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you. 

- Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

- Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy. 

- Why do  Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ? 

- Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. 

- You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

- The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

- Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.

- Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were. 

- Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

- I discovered I scream the same way whether I'm about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot. 

- Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

- There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.

- I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure. 

- I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lime, and a shot of tequila.

- When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water. 

- You're never too old to learn something stupid. 

- To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

- Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. 

- Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever. 

- A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.   

- Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

--------------------

Subj:  Ear Infection
From:  MDodic@aol.com

This is so true!   They always ask at the doctor's office why you are there, and you have to answer in front of others what's wrong and sometimes it is embarrassing.

There's nothing worse than a Doctor's Receptionist who insists you tell her what is wrong with you in a room full of other patients.  
 
I know most of us have experienced this, and I love the way this old guy handled it.

A 65-year-old man walked into a crowded waiting room and approached the desk.

The Receptionist said, 'Yes sir, what are you seeing the Doctor for today?'

'There's something wrong with my dick', he replied.

The receptionist became irritated and said, 'You shouldn't come into a crowded waiting room and say things like that. '

'Why not, you asked me what was wrong and I told you,' he said.

The Receptionist replied; 'Now you've caused some embarrassment in this room full of people. You should have said there is something wrong with your ear or something and discussed the problem further with the Doctor in private.'

The man replied, 'You shouldn't ask people questions in a roomful of strangers, if the answer could embarrass anyone. The man walked out, waited several minutes, and then re-entered.

The Receptionist smiled smugly and asked, 'Yes??'

'There's something wrong with my ear,' he stated.

The Receptionist nodded approvingly and smiled, knowing he had taken her advice.. 'And what is wrong with your ear, Sir?'

'I can't piss out of it,' he replied.

The waiting room erupted in laughter...
 


Phone Consultation-Counseling-Coaching Service from the Stress Doc ™

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, the "Stress Doc," is an uncommon psychotherapist with nearly 30 years experience.  Why the distinct perspective?  Mark is also a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader, Executive/Management Consultant, Organizational Development/Team Building Expert, Critical Incident Specialist (with 25 years experience as a consultant and coach, including a stint as a Stress & Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service).

Much information can also be obtained from his multi-award-winning website -- www.stressdoc.com

The Stress Doc is also the author of two books:  Practice Safe Stress:  Healing and Laughing in the Face of Stress, Burnout & Depression and The Four Faces of Anger: Transforming Anger, Rage, and Conflict Into Inspiring Attitude and Behavior.  The Doc runs a weekly "Shrink Rap ™ and Group Chat" on America Online. 

Mark is pleased to announce a new professional service...

Phone Consultation-Coaching-Counseling

The Doc's areas of expertise include:

+ Stress and Burnout and Rebuilding the Fire
+ Anger Management and Managing Difficult People
+ Growing from Loss, Grief and Depression
+ Marital Tension, Couple Counseling and Family Issues
+ Career/Life/Relationship Transition
+ Conflict Resolution and Team Building
+ Executive and Management Coaching
+ Organizational Downsizing and Change
+ Time Management and Personal Organization
+ Motivation and High Performance/Anxiety Issues

Phone Sessions, in general, are for 30 or 60 minutes.  Hours of consultation are flexible; day and evening availability.  Fee to be determined during the first contact/consultation.  The first phone contact/consultation (up to 15-20 minutes) is free.

For more information, call 301-875-2567, or email stressdoc@aol.com.

-------------------------


Here is a coaching testimonial from a woman on the West Coast.  (I'm on the East Coast.):

Date: 10/30/2007
From: Stuntsista

Hi Mark,

What growth has occurred since our work several weeks back.  I am most certain you were a gift to me during those months of coaching together.  As I remember, the most memorable character trait to me is your ability to blend courage and personal understanding; as one who has experienced suffering and risen to overcome.  Only one who has experienced the depth, could so acutely and masterfully, handle the heart of one suffering, to guide, to point out, to encourage voice to feelings.  Mark, Thank you, for your accurate assessment, time and again.  I am grateful beyond words.  I appreciate your flexibility in time zones and the presence with which you showed up is just solid.  I enjoyed your humor that you inflected with such appropriateness.  It means so much to have had you 'in my corner' through such an ordeal I found myself in.

My health has turned for the best and I deeply believe it has all to do with my state of mind.  As Victor Frankl observed over 40 years ago:  "Those who know how close the connection is between the state of mind of a man -- his courage and hope, or there lack of -- and the state of immunity of his body will understand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a deadly effect." 
 
I am well.  I have had several courageous conversations.  There is movement.  Don't be surprised if our paths cross again ~ smile. 
 
Most Sincerely,
 
Terri
 
Terri Cadiente A.C.C.
Associate Certified Coach, Speaker, Stunt woman

Strength And Grace Inc.
25050 Avenue Kearney Suite #109
Valencia, CA 91355
Office: 661.294.7841
Mobile: 818.489.4842www.StrengthAndGraceInc.com

~to inspire courage, provoke action and live from a heart at choice ~my life purpose
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a one-of-a-kind "Motivational Humorist & Team Communication Catalyst."  The "Doc" is an acclaimed keynote and kickoff speaker known for his interactive, inspiring and FUN speaking and workshop programs.  The "Stress Doc" is also a team building and organizational development consultant for a variety of govt. agencies, corporations and non-profits.  And he is AOL's "Online Psychohumorist" ™.  Mark is an Adjunct Professor at Northern VA (NOVA) Community College and currently he is leading "Stress, Team Building and Humor" programs for the 1st Cavalry and 4th Infantry Divisions and Brigades, at Ft. Hood, Texas and Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.  A former Stress and Conflict Consultant for the US Postal Service, the Stress Doc is the author of Practice Safe Stress and of The Four Faces of Anger.  See his award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" -- www.stressdoc.com -- called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR).  For more info on the Doc's "Practice Safe Stress" programs or to receive his free e-newsletter, email stressdoc@aol.com or call 301-875-2567.

(c)  Mark Gorkin  2010

Shrink Rap™ Productions