Monday, August 13, 2012


STRESSED OUT? Make Some Salsa!
Guest Post by Jackie Pilossoph

Making different kinds of salsa is Emma’s way of dealing with her stress in my new novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE. The 42 year-old widow has lots on her plate, everything from her older sis going through a divorce, dealing with her 6 year-old daughter’s grief of losing her father, and the guilt Emma can’t let go regarding the circumstances of her husband’s sudden passing.
Everyone has problems, and because of this, we all have stress. Our spouse (or the loneliness of not having a spouse), our children, our families, our jobs (or not having a job), ours and our loved ones health can all be triggers of horrible stress that usually ends up with these things: restless nights, irritable behavior and a Lexapro prescription!
The message I wanted to send in FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE, when I was writing about Emma’s obsession with making salsa to temporarily take her mind off of her problems, is that there are bad ways to handle stress and there are good ways to handle it.
3 Bad Ways People Handle Stress
1.  Many stressed out individuals turn to drugs and alcohol, as if they are somehow temporarily numbing the pain they are constantly feeling. This is not only physically unhealthy, but can cause addiction and severe emotional problems that lead to the demise of something big, meaning relationships or a job. They also face the risk of legal problems, i.e. a DUI.
2.  Some people deal with stress by cheating. He or she thinks that they deserve some happiness to counterbalance the life they can’t stand at home, so they look elsewhere for temporary “love.”
3.  The biggest way I’ve seen people deal with stress is to shut down. They stop communicating with their spouse and they withdraw. And then the spouse is frustrated and feels hopeless because they want to help and they can’t.
**Piece of advice on #3.** If your spouse is going through a really bad time, and isn’t getting help to deal with his or her stress, there’s really nothing you can do. You can’t force someone to get help for a drinking issue, you can’t force someone to go on anti-depressants, and you can’t force someone to see a therapist. The hardest thing for people (especially women) to do is realize that their spouse’s problems are out of their control to an extent. All you can do is communicate to your spouse that you are there for them if they want help, that you love them dearly, and that you are concerned. Also, being warm and affectionate will help the person more than you know. Try to understand that it is THEIR problem, and yes, because you are the spouse, it’s your problem, too, but only HE or SHE has the power to change things. NOT YOU!
Great Ways to Handle Stress
1.  Work out, people!! There is actually a chemical released from your body when you do cardiovascular exercise and you lift weights that acts as an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety drug. It works!! When I was getting divorced, there were so many times I would call my sister and say, “I’m so depressed I can’t even get out of bed.” And she would respond, “Go right to the gym. Right this minute. Force yourself. Then, call me after.” And I would do that and I would feel so much better!
2.   PRAY. Trust me on this one. Talk to God, feel His presence, have faith. It will go a long way. You can even pray in your own home. And make sure to thank Him for the things you do have.
3.  Do things for yourself. Last week, I found myself in an E-bay auction battle with some biatch from Kansas for a pair of Tory Burch black sandals (which I made sure I won –even though it cost me a lot.) My point is, I really wanted the sandals and I feel like I have enough crap in my life that if something as simple as a pair of shoes (well known for being worn by Jennifer Aniston) makes me happy, then by gosh, I’m going to have them! I’m not saying you can solve your problems by buying material things, I’m just saying, that life is short and we have so many issues to deal with, that allowing ourselves to experience joy in things that give us some happiness is healthy.
4.  Or, like Emma, you can make salsa, especially because I provide 7 salsa recipes at the end of FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE!  Or make something else. Cooking and baking can be very therapeutic, as they give you a sense of productivity, as well as a great smell in your kitchen. You will also get some self worth when everyone in your family tells you how great your creations are!
5.  Surround yourself with friends and dump the friends that cause you extra stress! There’s nothing better than friends to lift your spirits, make you laugh, tell you things you want to hear, and make you feel lucky to have him or her. But those others…the ones who pressure you to get together, the ones who criticize you and/or compete with you, the ones who are constantly talking about their own problems and have a negative outlook on life…I have one word for those kinds of “friends.” –Bu-bye!!
6.  For me, the biggest stress relief (which Emma does as well) is spending time with my kids. Somehow, doing “kid” things, takes me back to being a kid and temporarily forgetting about bigger issues. Last weekend we went canoeing in a lagoon. I felt as if I was on vacation and didn’t have one bad thought the entire time. And if you don’t have your own kids, babysit for your nieces and nephews or friend’s children! Trust me, you’ll love the innocence and the excitement only a child can get from the little things in life.
Problems and stress are universal. Everyone has his or her share. How we handle them is what really matters. Emma ends up turning her obsession with salsa into something really productive and a life that makes her really, really happy. And if you can deal with stress by turning it into something meaningful, something that benefits others, and something that gives your existence meaning, you truly are a winner in life.
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Many thanks to my author pal, Jackie Pilossoph, for stopping by the blog today.  I'm going to be trying some of her stress-reducing tips myself!  I wish you much success with FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE, Jackie!
Author Bio:
Jackie Pilossoph is also the author of JACKPOT! and HOOK, LINE AND SINK HIM. She is a freelance writer and newspaper columnist, and is working on her fourth novel. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in Communication from Boston University. She lives with her family in Chicago.

Book Blurb:
Your free gift with purchase doesn't always come from a department store makeup counter. Emma and Laura are about as different as two sisters can be. Emma's always been the party girl, Laura, the hardworking doctor. But now, the two have something in common. Both are newly single and trying out the dating scene after marriage. Emma's a widow and a single mother with a guilty secret she can't let go. Laura's husband just dumped her for one of four women he's been sleeping with. A dispute over the house forces Laura to move in with her sister and that's when the fun begins. Go on some dates with these 42 and 44 year-old adorable sisters who are both looking for love and your jaw will surely drop! Laura's mixed bag includes Dan, a selfish womanizer, Ari, a stalker, and Tim, a compulsive liar. For Emma there's sexy, adorable Preston, a self-proclaiming "fun guy," beautiful Alice, who's a lesbian, and a string of Matts who go from bad to worse. Then there's separated, charismatic, wealthy Luke Sullivan. Luke's carrying some baggage, but he makes Emma's heart stop every time he appears. FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE is a book about two sisters who have always seen things from an entirely different perspective, but who as women in need of each other learn to consider that instead of judging, looking through each other's eyes might make their lives a lot richer. In other words, when you buy into opening your heart and believing in yourself, you might just end up with a FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE.

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  1. I love this concept for a's going on my TBR list! And I fully agree with Jackie's advice!

    xx, Lauren

  2. Sounds like a fun novel. I love sister stories.