Stress Relief tips for Stress Awareness Month
Stress Awareness Month has been recognized every April since 1992, but this year it seems particularly important.
Learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life.
What does stress mean to you?
Stress is a reaction to a situation where a person feels anxious or threatened. Learning healthy ways to cope and getting the proper care and support can help reduce stressful feelings and symptoms.
Common reactions to a stressful event can include:
• Disbelief, shock and numbness
• Feeling sad, frustrated and helpless
• Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
• Headaches, back pains and stomach problems
• Smoking or the use of alcohol or drugs
Learn to overcome issues you cannot change, sometimes the stress in our lives is not something we have the power to change.
• Recognize when you don’t have control, and let it go.
• Avoid getting anxious about situations that you cannot change.
• Take control of your reactions and focus your mind on something that makes you feel calm and in control.
• Develop a vision for healthy living, wellness, and personal growth, and set realistic goals to help you realize your vision.
Here are some basic ideas to help you cope with stress:
• Take care of yourself – eat healthy and give yourself a break if you feel stressed.
• Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a family member, friend, doctor, pastor or counselor.
• Avoid drugs and alcohol. These can create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.
• Recognize when you need more help – know when to talk to a psychologist, social worker or counselor if things continue.
These tips may also help:
- Exercise: Though you may not realize it, exercise makes us happy. Physical activity releases endorphins, or hormones that make you feel good. Exercise is a way to refocus, and get your mind off your stressors. It doesn’t have to be anything too physical—walking, gardening, swimming, yoga and meditation are all good ways to be active.
- Sleep: Lying awake at night trying to solve the world’s problem’s can impact how you handle stress. Sleeping allows our minds and bodies to recharge, improving your mood and concentration levels. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try a warm bath and a hot cup of decaffeinated tea before bed. Turning out the lights and turning the electronics off can also improve sleep habits.
- A little creativity goes a long way: Singing, dancing, and painting are other ways to relieve stress, simply by taking your mind off whatever is bothering you. So crank up the music and break out your best dance moves, or go outside and paint your surroundings for a little stress relief.
- Just say no: You can’t do it all. Part of living a stress free life is learning to balance our daily responsibilities. Consistently saying yes to new projects at work or in your personal life cuts down on the amount of time you have for yourself and increases the stressors in your life. If you find that you are constantly overwhelmed by your daily or weekly tasks, learning to delegate or asking for help can decrease your stress level.
Stress Relief tips for Stress Awareness Month (stlukesonline.org)
April is Stress Awareness Month - The American Institute of Stress