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Managing stress in stressful environments.

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

When you think of stress, what comes to mind? Do you think of money trouble? Do you think of health issues? Relationship problems? Being alone? Being around too many people?

I want you to know that stress is normal. Especially at this time. With the pandemic affecting everyone's health, wealth and work environment, it's easy to forget to set time aside to create space for your mental health. Now more than ever, people are forced to create change in order to survive. Survival has everything to do with keeping your mental health protected. Being optimistic is easier said than done. Here are some helpful ways to cope with stress that I've shared with some of my patients and that I have also practiced myself.

  1. Finding a person to talk to. Whether that person is a friend, spouse, co-worker or yourself, find someone to openly vent too so that you can help alleviate your stress. When you say the things that are bothering you out loud, you are getting it out into the universe while having an outsider give their perspective on your stressful situation. Disclaimer: Make sure you tell them whether or not you want their perspective. It's also important for have someone who just listens to your concerns. And in return, you can listen to theirs.

  2. Therapy. Therapy helps in so many ways because it addresses the root cause of what is contributing to your stress. Even therapists have therapists. Having a licensed professional listen and help you cope therapeutically may give you a sense of purpose as well as ease your stress.

  3. Journaling. Writing down how you feel and what is causing you to feel the way you do in that moment. Journaling is a purposeful tool to utilize while recognizing what is contributing to your stress. By seeing what causes it and how it makes you feel, you can find ways to handle some or all of your stressful situations in a more conducive way. It also creates a feeling of relief. Writing down your pent up emotions on a piece of paper and leaving it there.

  4. Exercise. Regular exercise can help protect you from heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, noninsulin-dependent diabetes, obesity, back pain, osteoporosis, and can improve your mood and help you to better manage stress. For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week. However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week. If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity. (n.d. 2020)

(n.d.). Retrieved December 15, 2020, from

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