How Baby Zoo Animals Save My Day

Baby Otter from Virginia AquariumWe’ve got tough jobs.  Nonprofit staff and board members (like you, me, and a lot of our friends) are notorious for working our tails off for causes we’re passionate about.

I want to share with you something I’m passionate about – a very simple, fun way to bust some stress.

First, let me tell you about me.  I’m a Raleigh native, and I’ve been at the Center for almost 5 years.  It’s a pretty amazing job.  It can also get pretty crazy around here.  I used to be a professional violinist – I even did a stint in a rock band called American Aquarium.  Twice a week, I teach violin to a dozen really cool teenagers, and I serve on the board of the Philharmonic Association here in the Triangle.  I also volunteer for the N.C.  Roadrunners Club and their Women’s Beginning Running program. 

Oh, and somehow I manage to see my family and hang out with my husband of 2 years.  And feed my two cats.  Staying healthy is not an easy thing to fit in.

Here’s one of my favorite tips for getting through a stressful day…

Zoo Borns.

Let me set the scene – you’re having a crazy day.  Three proposals are due in two hours.  You’ve already logged 45 hours – and it’s Thursday.  You know you should have stopped for lunch, but it seemed a lot more efficient to grab that package of Combos from the vending machine. (Peanut butter is healthy, right?) 

When it gets to that point, take a moment for yourself.  For me, it’s baby zoo animals.

Really.  Taking five minutes to look at cute baby ocelots and elephants may sound insane, but it always puts a smile on my face and throws me back into a halfway decent mood.  Then, I’m ready to tackle whatever the day has left for me.

So whether it’s sports scores (though if you’re an NC State fan like me, that can be a bit counter-productive), baby animals, silly videos, or pictures of your kids.  Find something that will immediately make you smile, and give yourself five minutes to do just that.  Your blood pressure will go down, your breathing will slow, and you can get back to doing what you love the most – helping make North Carolina a better place.

What are some ways you help reduce stress?


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