What exactly is stress?
The Cleveland Clinic defines stress as “a normal reaction the body has when changes occur, resulting in physical, emotional and intellectual responses.” Everyone experiences stress!
What are the dangers of stress?
- Stress that isn’t properly managed can result in high blood pressure or heart disease.
- Being under pressure
- Big life changes (e.g., getting married, having a child, a new job, etc.)
- Organizing a big project or event
- Being a caregiver/taking care of others
What are the symptoms?
- Muscle pain
- Chest pain
- Pain in the neck, back, and/or shoulders
- Jaw clenching
- Sleep issues
- Upset stomach
- Feeling irritable or angry
- Isolating yourself from others
- Weakened immune system
- Feeling overwhelmed
What can I do to manage my stress level?
- Stay physically active
- Find what helps you and set aside time to practice it (e.g., yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, etc.)
- Spend time with your family and friends (even if it is over Zoom)
- Make sure to set aside time for hobbies and things you enjoy doing
- Watch your caffeine intake
- Make sure you get enough sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Try a gratitude journal
- Spend time outside/in nature
- Work on setting boundaries and saying no if your plate is already full
- See a therapist if things don’t improve