Just in case you all were not aware, stress causes multiple physical challenges to the body. They can include pain, (headaches, back, hip, chest and jaw are common areas), acne, upset stomach (including diarrhea, constipation and nausea), lingering sickness, and heart problems. Since the flood, I have seen a lot of all of the above. One thing that you can do to help with stress is to improve your time management, which includes having enough time for rest. Many of us are adding rebuilding homes, and/or businesses into our already busy schedule; however, it is very important for us to get our rest, as well as schedule in some time for fun (especially laughter) – get a funny movie, book, watch comedy on you-tube. Look up! (did you know that you physically cannot frown if you are looking up?) Exercise: Just get moving – it can be a formal class, a walk around the park or a bike ride. Just make sure that the area is a positive area. Walking around piles of debris doesn’t help your stress levels. Do stretching – yoga, or just general gentle stretches. Eat healthy. (If you feed your body crap, you will feel like crap.) Do deep breathing exercises. One of my favorites is to breathe in for a count, hold your breath for that same count, then count out twice that as you breathe out. Add a count to each, if you can each breath in. Another technique is to start a journal of gratitude. Writing, or thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for, helps put life into perspective, rather than dwelling on the things that are frustrating you at this time. If these things don’t work, you might want to contact your physical therapist, as they have multiple techniques that can help with the tightness in your muscles and the pain.