What is stress?
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Three types of stress
- Routine stress related to the pressures of work, family and other daily responsibilities.
- Stress brought about by a sudden negative change, such as losing a job, divorce, or illness.
- Traumatic stress, experienced in an event like a major accident, war, assault, or a natural disaster where one may be seriously hurt or in danger of being killed.
How do I deal with stress?
- Seek help from a qualified mental health care provider if you are overwhelmed, feel you cannot cope, have suicidal thoughts, or are using drugs or alcohol to cope.
- Get proper health care for existing or new health problems.
- Stay in touch with people who can provide emotional and other support.
- Ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations to reduce stress due to work burdens or family issues, such as caring for a loved one.
- Recognize signs of your body’s response to stress:
- difficulty sleeping
- increased alcohol and other substance use
- being easily angered
- feeling depressed
- having low energy
- over eating
- Make a “to-do” list.
- Write out the 10 things you would like to accomplish during the day.
- Put them in order by highest priority to lowest.
- Delegate the things that you can to lighten your load. Don’t be a super hero.
- Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
- Get up 30 minutes earlier. If you don’t have enough time during or at the end of the day, wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal.
- Start your morning with a cup of coffee or tea.
- Listen to soothing music.
- Plan your day.
- Go outside and walk or do an in-home walking program.
- Start a gratitude journal. What are you grateful for?
- Exercise regularly-just 30 minutes per day of gentle walking can help boost mood and reduce stress.
- Schedule regular times for healthy and relaxing activities.
- Put focus on you. You need to take care of yourself first before you can care for others.