By KRS Edstrom



Dear KRS,
I am presently faced with some very difficult situations at work as well as at home, and need some help and guidance. The stressful life I have been living is starting to show its effects — anxiety, panic attacks at night, disturbed sleep, a mild phobia, etc.

Things are quite complicated, and I am not sure I could explain them in a satisfactory manner in a few paragraphs, but I will try to focus on what is the most pressing right now.
I work for a very good company and have quite a good job. The problems at work are of a relational nature. When I started with this company, I was very stressed and in a state of anxiety (it looks like it is a chronic problem with me), and because of this, I did a number of things I think were misinterpreted by my colleagues. For this reason, I was not fully accepted by the team members.

This feeling of isolation made me say and do even more things that were not well taken. I finally got to a point where I felt I couldn’t take it any more and decided to quit, but after a lot of thinking, I decided to try to fix things.

The problem is that I continue to feel isolated, stressed, anxious and unhappy. Given the fact that I don’t feel any motivation to work because of these feelings, I need to find a solution pretty quickly if I want to continue working for this company. Do you have any suggestions?
 Anxiety from Job

Dear Anxiety,
First, statistics show that most people experience high levels of stress at least once a week, so you are not alone even though you may feel that way.

Problems in the psychological realm are often blown up bigger than necessary, when there (thankfully) are some very effective solutions. All your symptoms — panic attacks, insomnia, work relationships and so forth are, as you know, related to the ONE thing — stress. It is sometimes helpful to understand that you don’t have lots of unrelated problems to solve.

When you say you decided to “fix” things, I’m not sure what you mean, but I hope it was along the lines of communication. In other words, people DO understand and empathize (don’t mix that up with pity) surprisingly well when you express your problems openly and truthfully. Once you open yourself to your co-workers they may surprise you with similar stories and helpful suggestions such as counselors, books and other resources. Also, many companies have their own employee stress-management programs so you might want to check into that as well.

A few other suggestions. Exercise. Sweat at least 20 minutes each day, no matter when or how you have to fit it in. It releases endorphins (your own natural pain killer and anti-depressant). Also, take time out to relax (not TV watching) — meditate, take a Jacuzzi, talk with friends and family, take nature walks.

Make a list of those things you would enjoy doing and then INK them into each and every day, even if only for a few minutes.

Dear KRS
Three months ago I had a set of beautiful twin girls weighing in at 6 pounds 6 ounces and 5 pounds 12 ounces. I gained a total of 41 pounds throughout my pregnancy. I am now 11 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and just not happy. I can fit into some of my clothes I wore before I got pregnant but they don’t look the same, and I feel awful when I go out.

I have begun to exercise slowly, starting with stretching, but get frustrated that the results aren’t quick enough. I’ve been doing crunches for my lower stomach, leg lefts, and light weight lifting for muscle tone. How long does it take to return to your regular size after having children?  And when I do certain exercises I get an uncomfortable pull in my groin area, is that normal? 

Recovering From Twins

Dear Recovering,
I could answer this letter with one word:  Patience. You are doing so many positive things but are your own worst enemy at this point. Harsh self-judgment will only cause more discouragement.
It took you nine months to get “out” of shape, why not give yourself at least nine months to get back in shape? Don’t rush into the weight lifting and if anything feels painful or “wrong” — stop immediately. Let your body ease back into itself.

KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She offers private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, stress, pain, weight loss. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more information, visit Call (323) 851-8623 or email:  


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