August 25, 2019
Sometimes life can bring some unexpected stress with it. It’s easy to get bogged down by these every day stressors, but you don’t have to let it. According to the American Institute of Stress, long periods of stress over time can affect your body’s central nervous and endocrine systems, cardiovascular systems, and digestive system. That’s why it’s important to take time for yourself when you feel overwhelmed. Here are 5 helpful tips on how you and your loved ones can manage stress:
1. Speak Positively
It might sound silly to some people, but positive self-talk can really help cut down stress levels. When your mind starts to spiral and you can feel the stress coming on, try to speak positively to yourself. Phrases like, “I can do this” and “I can reach out and get help if I need it” are very helpful for those trying to manage stress. You can also give words of encouragement to your loved ones that may be feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes something as simple as a “you can do it” can go a long way!
2. Stay Active
Staying physically active is a great way to ward off stress. Exercise has many benefits for the human body. Research has shown that there are long-term benefits of regular daily exercise, but even a 15-minute walk can help decrease stress in the short-term. Looking for an exercise buddy? You should choose a fitness activity that you and your loved one can do together!
3. Eat Healthy
Don’t give in to stress eating! When we are feeling down sometimes we reach for foods that are comforting, but not necessarily good for us. Instead of reaching for a cookie, try to grab something with more nutrition like a piece of fruit. Eating too much processed sugar can increase anxiety and stress levels. Instead, start choosing healthier options for you and your whole family.
4. Find Activities to Do Together
You don’t have to beat stress alone! Choose a loved one to do stress-busting activities together. The key is to try and find activities that you know you’ll both enjoy doing. While you’re spending time with them, you can talk about what is currently giving you stress. Pick an activity like taking a walk in the park, painting, etc. This will give you time to focus on how to make yourself feel better.
5. Take a Deep Breath
Breathe in. Breathe out. Doing simple breathing or meditation exercises can help bring down stress. This gives your mind time to slow down and relax. When you close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, you are telling your body to take it easy. This is a great way to feel instant relief. Even if you only mediate for 5 minutes, you’ll still see a huge difference.
Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a wealth of information, support, and resources, including help managing stress or managing relationships. Services are confidential and available at no cost to you. EAP services can meet the needs of you and your family members for short-term counseling through in-person EAP sessions and toll-free telephone access to clinicians. Caring and empathetic counselors conduct assessments, provide referrals, identify and order resources, develop action plans, and follow up through case resolution.
To find information about your EAP, visit my.ascension.org > myHR > Employee Assistance Program (under Benefit Links).