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April 28-30, 2008
Alexandria, VA

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“Are you stressed, maybe even just a little?"

This entire issue of eSharings is on stress.  I know you are very busy and excited to get to your holiday celebrations. Your positive or negative stress levels may be getting a little elevated at times.  The negative stress is especially high for people working in retail and crisis call centers and help desks.

Did you know that more heart attacks happen in December then any other time of the year?  Look at these other statistics on stress.  Below these items are 22 non-traditional ways to manage down stress.

Facts on Stress

Managerial and professional occupations, with 16 percent of the cases, and technical, sales, and administrative support occupations with 48 percent, had higher proportions of occupational stress cases than they did of all occupational injury and illness cases involving days away from work, 5 and 15 percent, respectively. Three occupations accounted for almost 80 percent of all cases of occupational stress: The two white-collar occupations just mentioned and operators, fabricators, and laborers.

Occupations most often leading to occupational stress disorders include book keepers, accounting, and auditing clerks—5 per-cent; supervisors and proprietors, sales occupations—4 percent; investigators and adjusters, excluding insurance—4 percent; cooks—4 percent; and production occupation supervisors—4 percent.

Source: US Department of Labor 1999

* * * * * * *

  • 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress in their everyday lives.

  • 62 percent of Americans say work has a significant impact on stress levels.

  • 73 percent of Americans name money as the number one factor that affects their stress level.

  • Increasing numbers of children, teenagers and college students report feeling under stress.

  • Highly stressed teenagers are twice as likely to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs.

Sources: Posted on Washington Post Site - American Psychological Association 2004; survey, American Institute of Stress, National Center

* * * * * * *

  • Stress is linked to physical and mental health, as well as decreased willingness to take on new and creative endeavors.

  • Job burnout experienced by 25% to 40% of U.S. workers is blamed on stress.
    More than ever before, employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness.

  • Depression, only one type of stress reaction, is predicted to be the leading occupational disease of the 21st century, responsible for more days lost than any other single factor.

  • $300 billion, or $7,500 per employee, is spent annually in the U.S. on stress-related compensation claims, reduced productivity, absenteeism, health insurance costs, direct medical expenses (nearly 50% higher for workers who report stress), and employee turnover.

Sources: Stress Directions: The Stress Knowledge Company

* * * * * * *


Globally, more than 3 out of 5 doctor visits are for stress related problems.

  • Globally, 23% of women executives and professionals, and 19% of their male peers, say they feel super-stressed.

  • Forty-three percent of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.

  • Two-thirds of all office visits to family physicians are due to stress-related symptoms.

  • Sixty-four percent of Americans say they are taking steps to reduce stress in their lives.

  • Stress is linked to the six leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide.

Source: Pharmasave Stress Library






Reserve your seat now (email or call 425-398-9292) and
pay in January 2008 or register online.

 Be sure to visit our Government Customer Support Conference website for more details.  We look forward to seeing you in Alexandria, Virginia in April 28-30, 2008.


22 Non-traditional Stress Reducers

Below are 22 ideas to manage down stress.  We know the traditional ways of dealing with stress like meditation, breathing exercises, general exercise activities, sleep, and workload balancing.  This list includes the more non-traditional ideas that are often overlooked or not known.

  1. One of my favorite solutions is to "SCREAM" ( I live in the country so this is easy to do.) Truthfully, screaming does work.  Studies show that 25% of stress can be reduced by screaming.  Check out and what they have to say on this.

  2. Homeopathic Remedy, Hyland's Calms Forte'.  This stuff works well.  I have used it successfully on many occasions. (Note: Be sure to check with your doctor about taking any additional vitamins or homeopathic remedies.  They may interfere with medications you are taking.)

  3. Bio-feedback home devices are useful to train your mind how to relax.

  4. Here's a fun solution - NPD study shows that playing video games is a stress reducer.

  5. Read, read, read.  Anything you enjoy.  Go to a very quiet place and give yourself some peaceful downtime.  Tell everyone you are unavailable for one hour and don't take a phone with you. Try the library for a change or small town bookstore for quiet reading.

  6. TURN OFF THE CELL PHONE.  Try turning off your phone for 4-6 hours.  Notice the release you will feel from this action.

  7. Write in your journal.  If you don't have one, start one.

  8. Eat your favorite comfort foods. (Make macaroni and cheese - the kind mom used to make, have frosted flakes with dad or the kids,  or make those special fudge brownies that grandma did.)

  9. Laugh out loud really hard.  This is known as Laughter Therapy.

  10. Walk with a friend or the dog, ride a horse and clean out their stalls, and if you live on the east coast right now - get out and shovel some snow.  Get outside and make noise or be quiet - whatever it is get out and do something you love.

  11. Do T'ai Chi or take a course in it.  Yoga works for some people too.

  12. Try hypnotherapy for stress reduction.  This is one of my other favorite solutions. Check out the resources on this hypnosis downloads site.

  13. Get an Oggz or get a few of them.  Use them on your desk, home office, bedroom or set around the bathtub.

  14. Bathe: Add 1-2 cups of sea salt (magnesium) and 1 cup of baking soda to the water without any soap or bubbles.  Cancer patients use this for reducing the toxins and poisons in their body.  Turn the lights off or very low.  Try your Oggz in this environment or use candles.

  15. Make love.  This activity will reduce stress for many people. Read more. (This is a safe site to visit - trust me.)

  16. Increase your Vitamin B (caution: It can be toxic if you take too much.) and Vitamin E (Only certain forms work well.) but be careful not to take too much.  Stress depletes Vitamin C so be sure to supplement your current dosage when stress increases.  SAM-e is known to help with mood support.

  17. Valerian, Catnip, Chamomile, Melatonin, Hops, St. John's Wort, and Passionflower can help significantly.  They come in pill form as well as loose blossoms and leaves.  A nice hot cup of herbal tea that includes these herbs is very relaxing. Be careful not to add Peppermint to the mix just before bed because it is a diuretic.

  18. Go see a movie - try two in a row and go alone.

  19. Cut back the sugar.  Try Stevia or Xylitol.  They have low glycemic indexes and won't increase your blood sugar levels.  I honestly (for medical reasons) have not eaten sugar, molasses, honey or corn syrup in over 17 years.  It has made a world of difference in my life. Stevia is my favorite.

  20. Do something Artistic.  Draw, paint, color in a crayon/felt tip pen book (they have really ornate ones for adults or simply make something creative.  Beading can be relaxing for some people too. Go to the website and you can color online.

  21. Put together a jigsaw puzzle.  We are starting an office puzzle.  You could have one going in the lunch room or in the call center or help desk area.  Make it harder and hide the box lid so they can't see what it should look like until it is finished.  Hmm, that might increase the stress for some people? Check out the JigZone for online puzzles and more, including ways to add puzzles to your Blogs.  There are loads of puzzles on the Puzzler's Den website.  Just Jigsaw Puzzles is a fun site too.

  22. Play PAC MAN online.  Don't tell your boss though if you do this at work.  If you get caught, don't tell them I told you about it. Ha.

I hope you found this issue of eSharings enjoyable and useful. Happy stress-free holidays to you.

Ivy Meadors
High Tech High Touch Solutions, Inc. or

Office: 425-398-9292


Make a difference and be "green" this season.

Reduce or eliminate the use of wrapping paper. Many have lead and other toxins in them plus it just wastes paper. If you burn most wrapping paper it puts lots of toxins in the air too.

Use recycled paper, towels, cloth napkins, used paper bags, the Sunday paper's colored funny pages, or catalogs you get in the mail for wrapping gifts.  Last year's calendar pages work great for smaller gifts and adds some fun to the package.

If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would
save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Ivy's celebrating her 50th Birthday in January.

Will you come to my party?

Date: January 16th, 2008 from 2:00 - 6:00 PM

Producer: The NWCCP and HDNW Associations

Host Location: Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue, Washington

Keynote Speaker: The memorable, Max Dixon

A Native American Indian will be entertaining, playing hand-made flutes

Networking party afterwards with cake and refreshments (Plan to stay late.)


(Everyone is welcome and there is no cost to attend.)

Don't forget to sign up for

 The 7th Annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo
April 28-30, 2008 - Alexandria, VA

Deadline to s~ave $200 is December 31st, 2007

Leaders of help desks, contact centers, web service portals, and other customer touch points for Government's internal and external customers get together yearly at our annual Government Customer Support Conference and Expo (GCSC) to learn, share, and synergize as a community of practice!



Excellence Awards Program

Travel and Hotel Information

No need to stress - you can pay us in the first part of the year.


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