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How I Melt Stress Away

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

By Jon Ritchings, Jr.

Stress. Stress! STRESS! It’s the bane of my existence these days.

I’m taking 15 credits at school this semester and am the president of a student club, plus am organizing a bake sale, playing in two ukulele groups, and teaching a ukulele class in two weeks to one of those groups. To say I’m busy is an understatement. I wake up every morning and start going over my list of things to do that day before I’m even out of bed.

As we all know, stress can do awful things to our body and especially our circulatory systems. When you have a CHD and your heart function is already compromised from it, raising the pressure that your heart has to push against is, well, not good.

What do I do about this? I take a time out and do something I love. Anything—as long as it brings me joy. The key is that it has to make you happy. Not mildly happy, but foolish ear-to-ear, grinning-like-an-idiot happy.

If I have the time and weather permits, I take a walk. It always feels good to get out and get the blood moving and enjoy nature. Frequently, though, with my schedule, taking that much time is not an option. In those instances I reach for my ukulele.

If you’ve never played, then you can’t understand the sheer delight that strumming this little instrument can bring. It’s impossible to be anything but happy when playing the ukulele. Ten minutes and the stress melts away. And as a bonus, anyone who hears me playing usually ends up grinning, too!


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The contents of this blog are presented for informational purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional advice. Always consult your physicians with your questions and concerns.

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