Wednesday November 4th is recognized as National Stress Awareness Day. This day of awareness gives everyone an opportunity to take a close look at things that may be causing stress. Unmanaged stress can become chronic stress and lead to serious health consequences such as increased blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, and an increase in severity to mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression.
It is also important to remember that stress affects more than just you. An online survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), conducted by Harris Interactive in August 2010, found that more than two-thirds of parents think their stress level has slight to no impact on their child’s stress level. However, only 14% of tweens and teens reported that they are not bothered when their parent is stressed. Talking to your children and promoting open communication and problem solving is critical to managing everyone’s stress.
So how is it possible to manage something as complicated as stress? Start here:
Get enough sleep. Sleep can be difficult when dealing with stress, but it is the most important. During sleep is when the body has its best chance to repair itself. Those repairs are crucial to maintaining your physical health.
Be active! Setting aside the time to get active can be a challenge when stress levels are high but is only beat out by sleep as the most important. Adding physical activity to your day can also help you sleep better, so it is a win-win situation.
Do something that makes you happy. It seems trivial but taking a few minutes every day for something you enjoy can go a long way to reducing stress. Take the time to brew your perfect cup of coffee, read a chapter in a book that was chosen just for fun, or pause for a deep breath while admiring the sunset.
Talk to someone. Anyone. A significant other, friend, or mental health professional. The venting alone is beneficial, but it is possible that they can also help reach a solution to the problem(s) that might be causing stress.
Stress can be caused by seemingly small events like heavy traffic or a long line at the store, or as a result of a crisis or traumatic event, like the loss of a job, a death in the family, a pandemic, or a natural disaster such as wildfires or an active hurricane season. The most important things are to recognize, accept, and manage your stress to avoid negative physical and emotional consequences. We can help. Our office is prepared to invest in all our patients’ wellness promotion, prevention, treatment, and recovery. Please contact us to determine if our practice will be a good fit for you.