In my last post I talked about my first day on the job, doing job training for developmentally delayed adults when I was 17 years old. I learned a lot about expecting the unexpected there. From helping an elfin older lady named Cookie do up her bra to customizing stress relief.
Stress. It’s a killer, it’s a pain in the back, in the heart and about every other body part.
We all experience it. Not all of us know how to manage it effectively though.
But I digress. First let me tell you more about working with developmentally delayed adults. The organization I was working with would receive items that needed to be assembled. Think folding cardboard boxes and putting items inside in a certain order.
Easy right? Not for the folks I was working with. It was my job to break down the jobs into parts that each person was capable of. It was not easy figuring out for example what Larry, who was some 6′ 8″ tall, with the understanding of a three year old, could manage.
Sometimes I got it right and the human assembly line folded, elastic-banded, sorted, assembled, stacked and packed away.
Sometimes I got it wrong and stress levels would rise. Tempers would flare. Tears would flow and I’d have to start over again, re-assigning and re-designing while soothing hurt feelings.
One day I realized we all needed a break. Something to relieve the stress. I asked around and hit on pickles and country music.
Say what? Yes, that’s right, for some reason this group loved country music and eating pickles.
So the next time a meltdown happened I cranked the music and we all danced around, shaking and shimmying, some to the rhythm of the music, others to the rhythm only they could hear. After a few minutes calm was restored and we continued our work.
Other days I’d serve dill pickles. Different method, same result.
Cost for this wellness plan? Under 10 bucks. Results? Many and marvelous.
And you? What simple, irreverent, unusual methods do you use to relieve stress?