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BellaOnline's Stress Management Editor

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Snow Rage


A Newsday reporter took a video of two Long Island neighbors digging out of the latest snow storm to have slammed into the North East, which had barely recovered from a recent blizzard. Unfortunately, the fence between the two properties wasn’t tall enough, the way Robert Frost would have liked. The shoveling was quickly generating its own angry storm soon to explode in violence: “You shoveled snow into my backyard!” Can that beautiful white fluffy stuff falling from the sky wreak such havoc? This is similar to a case of road rage where a doctor from the Mayo Clinic actually killed a woman in a car accident because she cut him off on the road. Remorseful beyond description, he couldn’t explain why he lost it.

Be aware that stress is cumulative and will create a tipping point which could overwhelm when you least expect it. Most likely, you will feel hypervigilant - your animal senses on high alert with a powerful hormonal rush making you believe that you are both the judge and jury. However, this is the point where you are truly out of your mind and out of control.

The best ways to insulate yourself from snow rage:
  • Know that weather can be a stressor, so dress in layers wearing proper gear.
  • Eat a hearty meal before shoveling snow to have the energy to go the distance and for your brain to think straight.
  • Listen to music while you shovel for sound therapy. Good music will release dopamine to make you feel happy both mentally and physically.
  • Reinterpret your task from arduous work to fun. Reframe what you are doing to see it in a positive light: Good exercise, the great outdoors and yes, bonding with the neighbors.
  • When you shovel, drive your power up through your legs. You do not want to stress your back and start to create that snow rage tipping point because you are achy and miserable.
  • Don’t assume the worst in everyone. Quite often the person who cuts you off on the road or the neighbor who shovels some snow onto your property doesn’t even realize it. If your button is being pushed here, you need to shore up your personal empowerment.
  • Look for opportunities to help those neighbors who need it, like the elderly. You will feel more connected to the world as opposed to “it’s everyone for himself!” Instead of shoveling just until the Mason -Dixon line between properties, how about shoveling an extra foot or two for your neighbor.


For more information on managing your stress and reclaiming your life read my book, Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life. To listen to archived radio shows with guest experts visit Turn On Your Inner Light Radio Show


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Content copyright © 2014 by Debbie Mandel. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Debbie Mandel. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Debbie Mandel for details.

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