Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Human Animal

We went to the Farmer’s Market in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, and the place was amazing. If you ever have a chance to visit San Francisco, I would highly recommend that you add it to your agenda.

All big cities have a problem with homeless people, but San Francisco seemed to have a bigger problem than most. On the plus side, all of the homeless people we met on the street were very nice, and it was interesting to see the relationships some had developed with businesses. For example, I just happened to be standing on the street corner outside of our hotel for a few minutes one night, and I noticed a sack of take-out food just sitting there… right outside a Thai restaurant. How weird is that? I thought. Shortly thereafter, a younger black man came walking down the street, picked up the sack in one swift movement, crossed the street, and went along his merry way. By the way he moved, I understood this to be a nightly event.

More sad was the sight I witnessed at the Farmer’s Market. As I ordered my lunch from a little stand, I noticed a middle-aged white man hanging over the side of a trash can, his butt exposed for all of those unfortunate enough to be looking in his direction. While I was ordering a fresh meal, he was helping himself to the “leftovers” that others had thrown away. And while I watched him, I have to admit to you a scary thought. It was this: he looks human, but he’s not. I thought this just for a second, but it scared me to be able to look at a fellow human being and “see” something less than human.

Then I found a secluded bench and enjoyed my lunch. But now I wonder, who ate my leftovers?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Got Stress?

Hello fun seekers. I promised to blog while on vacation, but I guess I was having too much fun. Then, it took me a week to catch up with work. Anyway, I'm back if you missed me.

This Thursday I'll be running a workshop on Helping Students Deal with Stress. If you're free and in the area, I hope to see you there.

As my gift to you, here are 101 ways to cope with stress, courtesy of http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/101ways.htm


Get up 15 minutes earlier
Prepare for the morning the night before
Avoid tight fitting clothes
Avoid relying on chemical aids
Set appointments ahead
Don't rely on your memory ... write it down
Practice preventive maintenance
Make duplicate keys
Say "no" more often
Set priorities in your life
Avoid negative people
Use time wisely
Simplify meal times
Always make copies of important papers
Anticipate your needs
Repair anything that doesn't work properly
Ask for help with the jobs you dislike
Break large tasks into bite size portions
Look at problems as challenges
Look at challenges differently
Unclutter your life
Smile
Be prepared for rain
Tickle a baby
Pet a friendly dog/cat
Don't know all the answers
Look for a silver lining
Say something nice to someone
Teach a kid to fly a kite
Walk in the rain
Schedule play time into every day
Take a bubble bath
Be aware of the decisions you make
Believe in yourself
Stop saying negative things to yourself
Visualize yourself winning
Develop your sense of humor
Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
Have goals for yourself
Dance a jig
Say "hello" to a stranger
Ask a friend for a hug
Look up at the stars
Practice breathing slowly
Learn to whistle a tune
Read a poem
Listen to a symphony
Watch a ballet
Read a story curled up in bed
Do a brand new thing
Stop a bad habit
Buy yourself a flower
Take time to small the flowers
Find support from others
Ask someone to be your "vent-partner"
Do it today
Work at being cheerful and optimistic
Put safety first
Do everything in moderation
Pay attention to your appearance
Strive for Excellence NOT perfection
Stretch your limits a little each day
Look at a work of art
Hum a jingle
Maintain your weight
Plant a tree
Feed the birds
Practice grace under pressure
Stand up and stretch
Always have a plan "B"
Learn a new doodle
Memorize a joke
Be responsible for your feelings
Learn to meet your own needs
Become a better listener
Know your limitations and let others know them, too
Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin
Throw a paper airplane
Exercise every day
Learn the words to a new song
Get to work early
Clean out one closet
Play patty cake with a toddler
Go on a picnic
Take a different route to work
Leave work early (with permission)
Put air freshener in your car
Watch a movie and eat popcorn
Write a note to a far away friend
Go to a ball game and scream
Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight
Recognize the importance of unconditional love
Remember that stress is an attitude
Keep a journal
Practice a monster smile
Remember you always have options
Have a support network of people, places and things
Quit trying to fix other people
Get enough sleep
Talk less and listen more
Freely praise other people

BONUS: Relax, take each day at a time...you have the rest of your life to live!