Thursday, February 21, 2008

De-Stress for Success

If stress at work is a problem for you, you may need a "stress buddy," plus some strategies on saying no effectively. Pouring on SPEED could help, too, according to Mark Gorkin, a Montgomery County psychotherapist and author of "Practice Safe Stress."

SPEED is his formula for natural stress reduction. It stands for Sleep (six or more hours a night), Priorities, Empathy, Exercise and Diet. All help stave off burnout, he said.

"Find a stress buddy at work," he recommends -- a co-worker you trust who will allow you to vent and respond with what he calls "tender loving criticism."

Gorkin, who calls himself the Stress Doc, is giving a seminar on stress management tomorrow at the Montgomery County Commission for Women Counseling & Career Center in Rockville.

He said he feels stress most often when he has a number of presentations back to back -- he generally gives six to 10 speeches a month. He sometimes reschedules seminars and accepts that he must "be willing to disappoint people."

One of his sayings: "A firm no a day keeps the ulcers away -- and the hostility, too."

-- Vickie Elmer

© 2008 The Washington Post Company