Stress and Stress

At my job the team I work with has been doing these corporate retreats since April, trying to invigorate and re-energize the staff. We created the content ourselves, honed it and presented it to the head honchos, who approved it and gave their blessings to begin presenting this to staff. We started in April, and are slated to do these retreats for the rest of the year, twice a month. We’re also going to do them in 2016, again twice a month. It’s exhausting work, and I’m not even the one presenting the material. I’m there to run A/V and occasionally pipe in on the conversation topics when I feel so led. Our team has worked hard on creating these retreats and for the most part they have been received well. The stress comes from requiring constant vigilance – not only for things to go right (A/V, food delivery, retreat supplies, location, transportation), but also for the attendees themselves – to keep them engaged, opening up about topics of the retreat, but also keeping them from getting off topic and running the whole event off the rails.

Most evenings after the retreats, I’ve been coming home and promptly going to bed – many times sleeping straight through until morning, about 12 hours of sleep. However, yesterday I went to get a massage after the retreat. Denis had given me a gift certificate for Christmas and I finally had a good reason to use it. I told the therapist that I wanted to have a Swedish massage versus Deep Tissue, and she agreed to it. However, once she got me on the table she insisted on doing at least a little bit of deep tissue work, if only because my neck and shoulders were like bricks under her fingers. An hour later she warned me that I’d have pain for a couple days post-massage, and told me about some stretches I could do to alleviate future stress building up in my shoulders and neck.

Y’all, she was not kidding. I woke up this morning in some major pain – my shoulders were KILLING me. I could move freely, but it was sore – as though I’d had a major workout yesterday. I ended up putting an icy/hot patch on the area that hurt the most, and didn’t even care that it could be seen above the neckline of the shirt I wore to work. At one point during the workday today I leaned back from my computer to do one the stretches she told me about, and it hurt like the dickens – it took me at least a whole minute to raise my arms up over my head to stretch. But it was totally worth it. And I might do it every other month post-retreat as a way to completely decompress. But maybe not quite as much deep tissue next time. It hurts. /whine

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