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Pandemic Stress Management

Atlantic County Magazine – GACCA Article

Print Date 12.3.2020

By Judy Brenna

Last week we discussed a truly awesome place, Shift Studio, located in Ventnor City, and everything owner and Reiki Master, Abra Merlino, offers to improve the mind, body and soul. This week I thought it would be helpful to branch out and discuss more options in the Atlantic County area, especially for those whose lives appear spiraling out of control, like mine. After all, there genuinely is only so much one can take before completely cracking and finding themselves aimlessly walking the aisles of Walmart, wearing red tights on their head and tin foil on their wrists, telling strangers they’re Wonder Woman’s little ginger sister, Rebecca, and muttering “the Vikings will rise once more!”. ((slowly removing tights from head)) Having lost my job, a friend, AND my dog, all in the span of 2 weeks, it’s enough to drive anyone nutty ((and also the makings of a fabulous Country Music Hit)). Which is why stress management is SO imperative.

A couple of months ago I talked about a beach trip the GACCA went on to visit Golden Buddha Yoga Studio, in Ocean City. One of the things I love about Golden Buddha is their online workshops. Especially now, during an ever-persisting-pandemic, you can purchase and download over 20 different healing modules and study, meditate, breathe and stretch in the comfort of your own home. Go to for more details.

Another unique place is The Leadership Studio, located on Tennessee Avenue in Atlantic City. Leadership Studio utilizes the Baptiste Power Yoga Methodology as the basis for their practice. It's a powerful, dynamic form of yoga, and is typically done in a heated environment. Ain’t nothing like sweating your troubles away, am I right? And what’s beautiful about this studio is all classes are for all levels. I will admit, going to a yoga studio is a bit intimidating, especially when you’re the only one in the room twisted in agony and profusely leaking sweat from any available pore ((picture Ted Striker from Airplane!)). And I love their schedule. They offer classes early in the morning AND at night, which is fantastic for people who do the daily 9 to 5 grind. Check them out at

I also think NJ Yoga Zone, located in Margate City, is pretty super. Founded in 2003, NJYZ offers a huge variety of classes including at least 3 different styles of yoga, Pilates, and Barre ((imagine if ballet and aerobics had a baby)). What sets NJYZ apart from the rest is their on-demand feature. Originally adapting to the current times, bringing their classes online with Zoom, they went a step further and created an on-demand feature, which allows you to get your mind and body treatments in, on your own time. I just love the freedom this option gives you. With all the adaptation we’ve endured due to COVID, you can nourish your body whenever you want. Each class is available 24 hours a day, and every subscription lasts for 30 days. Go to for more information.

In addition to finding a studio, I also highly recommend checking out If you don’t have sound mental health you have very little. It all starts with our minds. The Atlantic County mental health information page offers a list of some fantastic organizations in the area to help you finding the right help, including a listing of professionals in the area accepting new patients, free hotlines for anxiety and stress, substance addiction, and even suicide prevention. Also, is an invaluable tool for finding available providers in the area. All you have to do is write what you’re looking for and they provide the list. All it takes is acknowledgement and a click of the finger.

And if all else fails you can just drive up to Toms River and smash a bunch of stuff at Smashin City. I know it’s out of the area but, for only $40, you get to don protective gear, go in a room and annihilate 12 glassware items, 1 electronic and 1 medium item. What the medium item is I have no clue, but it doesn’t really matter because you get to take all your frustration out on it, so that’s cool. For those of you who have ever seen the movie Office Space, you’ll 100% appreciate this.

In the immediate area, I highly suggest some “bad axe fun” on the Boardwalk, at AC Axe and Pub at Steel Pier. For one, axe throwing is a great way to blow off steam and relieve stress and tension. It’s an excellent cardio exercise, and an even better confidence booster once you master the simple axe throwing basics. As crazy as it looks, axe throwing has a quick learning curve, so you’ll be reaping all those rewards in no time. During your session, the team will make sure that you’re using the right technique and always on the path to hitting the target over and over again. I’ve done it and I can attest, it’s insanely therapeutic. Check them out at

Regardless of your outlet, take the leap and start getting yourself healthy. I did it. I found a therapist and I’m glad I did #yaytherapy. And now it’s the best time to do it… to quote a very wise, albeit fictional man, Winter is coming. And humans need more stress relievers during the cold months. I’m pretty sure that’s a scientifically proven thing. So, get to steppin’, buddy. Only you wield this power. Until next week… #stayjerseystrong.

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