For our Wonder Women issue, we asked these outstanding professionals: what do you do to decompress while managing your business and your personal family life?
Danielle Brenza, Ageless Skin and Laser
“Relaxing is a little different for me than the usual. I enjoy letting myself go by boxing and dancing. I know that it doesn't sound like relaxing, but it's what takes me away from the stress of work and is completely for me. It's also a plus that my husband is very attentive and gives me the time to take for myself.”
Rita Bekas, Ariston Masonry
“My favorite way to unwind and relax is to get together with dear friends or family and enjoy a glass of wine, some music and some good laughs.”
Kim Heller, Attitudes
“What I like to do to relax and get away from all of the stresses in my life is go to a spa and get some kind of body treatment done. Whether it's a facial, massage a body scrub, it's the only time I find I can really relax and let my mind stop thinking about all I have to do. I don't get to go more than once or twice a year but I always look forward to going and really having some time just to myself!
Jessica Gardner, Bikram Yoga Voorhees
“I must consistently remind myself that the key to staying balanced, healthy and de-stressed is my own yoga practice. Traveling and experiencing yoga truly as a student and not as the owner is what helps keep me recharged to operate my business and help others change, grow, learn, and heal their bodies.”
Kathleen Mccabe-Odri, Cherrywood Academy & Private Preschool
“If a spa visit is not possible, unfortunately I'm a reality TV watcher, especially wedding shows and anything on the Food Network!”
Carolyn Chang, Carolyn Chang Attorney At Law
“I consider myself an amateur gardener. I love to plant, I love to pull weeds, I love the feel of the dirt under my nails. Gardening gives me a sense of achievement and helps me relax after a day of litigation. Planting in my yard takes away all the angst I handle every day as an attorney and a committee woman. My favorite day to plant is Mother's Day, rain or shine, into the late hours even after the sun goes down. The best thing about gardening is that it's a lot cheaper than hiring a psychiatrist!”
Lori Colino, COIT
“I visit the animal shelter and look at the kittens. It's very relaxing. I stops thinking about work and think about how I can help them, which takes the focus off me and my business for a little while."
Barbara Wrzeszcz, Collingswood Manor
“As I drive to work, I prepare myself for what needs to be handled that day; the same goes for the evening, as I drive home I prepare and think of things I need to do at home and that for me is a great time to get my head together. Life is a little simpler now they my children are older but I still have found that going to the gym, taking a long brisk walk, traveling, and gardening are good ways to decompress.”
Carryl Slobotkin, Jazz Unlimited
“After a busy week of directing, teaching and overseeing the studio, I spend my time trying to do things that will inspire me, such as going to movies, musical performances and Broadway shows. Also, whenever possible I try to get away to the Florida beaches.”
Maria Ciocca, Juniper Village at Williamstown
“Relaxation is a state of mind for each individual person. For me relaxation is when my mind goes somewhere happy and peaceful and when I get a break from thinking about what’s next. The fact that I have a purpose on earth is very grounding to me – not everyone knows what their purpose is but I truly embrace mine. The following things relax me: prayer, because without God I am no one; watching ‘I Love Lucy’ episodes, because they bring me back to my childhood; sitting on the beach with my family; taking time to enjoy my husband, my mom’s smile and my friends.”
Lynda L. Hinkle, The Law Offices of Lynda L. Hinkle, LLC
“I recently saw a sign that said ‘Keep Calm and Walk the Dog.’ My six-month-old puppy, Petey, comes to work with me almost every day. Since I work a huge amount of hours each week, it’s like bringing a bit of home with me. Plus he reminds me to take time out to enjoy the day with a cuddle or a walk.”
Mary Farren, Dr. Mary Farren, D.M.D.
“The only real time I have to relax is when I am sleeping! Other than that, I like to take long walks for exercise and to clear my mind.”
Michelle Stander, Mixellaneous
“I was once told by a mentor that downtime is so important and should be scheduled into your calendar the same way you would schedule a meeting or other event. Juggling a new business, two boys, a husband and a home made that a true challenge this year. You grow to appreciate the little luxuries that you took for granted before -- things like lunch with a friend, seeing a movie with my husband or sitting on the deck for an hour with a book.”
Natalie Denize, Nannys USA
“I walk my two dogs, meditate when I can for at least 15 minutes a day, and treat myself to a pedicure every two weeks.”
Renee Weisband, Renee's Studio
"For me the best stress reliever is a good spin class and yoga. However, watching one of my students succeed in something they worked really hard for gives me the affirmation needed to help my body stay centered. Really, I think to decompress you have to do the opposite and compress other activities and experiences to make you feel you can make a difference on this earth."
Dr. Monica Atkinson, Reliance Family Medical Center
“As a family physician, my work is as rewarding as it is exhausting. It's very much like being a parent, which I also have the privilege of with an 8 year old daughter and one on the way. My favorite escape is gardening. Getting dirty and being out in the fresh air is fun. The satisfaction of growing and creating beautiful things (not to mention how delicious my home grown vegetables are) is just delightful.”
Kathy Geller, Rooms in Bloom
“Sometimes I need a break from my hectic and physically demanding schedule so I recharge by enjoying a great book. My favorites are books that are life affirming. If it’s a nice day, reading on the beach is perfection.”
Dr. Mary-Kay Annuzzi, Washington Township Dental Associates
“At the end of the day, reality is I check my Facebook profile and watch the latest television shows. My decompression is putting them to bed, hanging out with the kids and talking about their day.”
Dr. Annie Creato, Washington Township Dental Associates
“I travel about 25 minutes to work, so when I get in the car I just relax, listen to music and don’t talk to anyone on the phone. I just take that time to and from work to myself. When I get home, I get changed and hang out with the baby right away. He’s a pretty well behaved baby, so he’s relaxing too.”
Dr. Elizabeth Balis, Washington Township Dental Associates
“Sometimes I go to the gym to relax and run on the treadmill. I like to read a book or a magazine -anything but dental! I like to put my mind in a different place than work. Retail therapy is always good.”
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 3 (May, 2012).
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