EST. May 2000 (AD)


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Well Being for the Average Woman

By Amy Krug

Modern women have to cope with many different sources of stress; many of us are at once wives, mothers, employees, carpool members, frozen pizza chefs, and so on. Occasionally, we need time to do something just for ourselves, to avoid having another one of those embarrassing neurotic episodes that always end half-naked at the police station.

If you read all those fancy well-being magazines, like Good Housekeeping, they often times give suggestions on what you can do to preserve your mental health. For most women, though, these suggestions are not only impractical, but can actually add stress. But fear not, my hyperactive compatriot! Here are ways to make these suggestions work for you.

The suggestion: Take a Yoga class.

The problem: There's nothing wrong with yoga, in and of itself - it's a great stress reliever and workout. The issues arise when you stuff your not-so-toned body into a Jane-Fonda-era leotard, then have to watch the svelete 24-year-olds in the class who are so flexible they look like something from a circus sideshow.

The solution: Buy a yoga tape. The leotard is out - you can do it naked if you want, nobody will care. And there's the added bonus of being able to hurl four letter words at the instructor's every suggestion that could be paraphrased as "bend yourself into a pretzel, then take some deeeeeep breaths."

The suggestion: Go on a spa getaway.

The problem: For those of us that don't make $15 million per movie or enjoy knocking over banks, the spa getaway idea is a bit pricey. Not to mention, it could tend to make our significant other a bit jealous: "Honey, I'm going away for a week to get naked and have people rub me. Have fun with the kids."

The solution: Many fancy spa treatments can be re-created at home, for a fraction of the cost and without the being-touched-by-a-stranger complication. For example, rather than a professional facial, you can stick your face in the dishwasher when it's in "dry" mode - the steam's exactly the same, and then you'll smell like detergent, to boot! For a manicure, remember those old commercials with the lady sticking her hand in a bowl of dishwashing liquid? Viola. And as for a cheap pedicure - just skip it all together. Nobody wants to see your feet, no matter how much money you've spent (or saved) on them.

The suggestion: Indulge in a long bubble bath.

The problem: On the surface, this seems like an inexpensive way that just about anyone can relieve stress. If you're like most women, however, the problem arises in the gap between the bubble bath fantasy and the bubble bath reality. In the fantasy, there's a beautiful woman with her hair pinned lightly up, ringlets circling her face, sipping wine in a pristine Italian marble tub with candles softly lighting the room. But when you arrive in your bathroom, you realize you have a cheap imitation marble tub with a disgusting dirt ring, and your hair will never, ever create soft alluring ringlets. You also have no wine and the only thing remotely like bubble bath you have is dishwashing liquid. So you end up with your hair looking like something from an 80s punk band, one orange emergency candle lit all the way across the room, up to your neck in Palmolive and drinking Kool-Aid out of a shot glass.

The solution: Go shoe shopping, then take a shower.

Hopefully these suggestions will help! If all else fails, just remember you can always bust out the cheap plastic bottle of vodka, lock the door, and get good and drunk.

Amy Krug is a wannabe artist and/or writer (and a reluctant software engineer) from Ohio. If the creative thing eventually fails, she's going to look into a life of either supervillanry or teaching. Rants, requests, proposals, and inquiries can be sent here.