Stress is all around us. It’s in the little things like traffic jams, demanding clients, negative coworkers and argumentative children, to the bigger issues like flooded basements, corporate downsizing, angry bosses, crime and terrorism. There are also life-changing events, such as divorce, death of a loved one, accidents, illness or job loss. Stressful situations can leave us feeling sad, depressed, anxious, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain miserable. Many people often “manage” stress by overeating, overspending, smoking, drinking, or taking pain killers and sleeping pills. These unhealthy coping behaviors often lead to obesity, maxed-out credit cards, alcoholism, drug addiction and other health problems.
Experts estimate that 75-90% of all doctor visits are for stress-related conditions such as headaches, digestive problems, rashes, asthma, anxiety, depression, insomnia and cynicism to name a few. Managing stress is not as hard as you think.
Here are ten simple strategies to ease your stress:
1) Establish a morning routine – rise earlier to eliminate rushing; make lunches the night before; plan in at least 20 minutes of stretching, vigorous exercise or meditation.
2) Aim for 7-8 hrs. sleep – lack of sleep can make you irritable, hungry and less able to cope with stress.
3) Laugh often – try to find the humor in some situations; read funny stories, watch comedies, etc.
4) Use positive self-talk – avoid all or nothing talk or over-generalizing about something.
5) Take time to eat regular, balanced meals to keep up energy levels and feel good throughout the day.
6) Get organized in your home and work environments. Clutter creates stress.
7) Try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive relaxation, meditation, listening to music, stretching, yoga or vigorous exercise. (look for phone apps like Stop, Breathe & Think)
8) Cultivate relationships – spend time with your family and friends. Practice random acts of kindness.
9) Make a budget and stick to it to help manage your money. Look for free entertainment in your area.
10) Contact your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for confidential help dealing with a variety of issues from mental health to financial assistance or elder care resources or talk to your doctor. Source: Wellness Council of America (WELCOA)
For more information about Sensia’s wellness solutions, contact Ashley Johnson at: (414) 988-7208 or firstname.lastname@example.org