Stress Awareness and Management: St. Claire’s Hospital Behavioral Health Svcs. · American Institute Of Stress · Horizon BCBS Behavioral Health · N.J. Dept. Human Svcs. Mental Health Cares (MHANJ.org): Helpline (866) 202-4357 8AM – 8PM
We know stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life. While some stress is considered normal, and even positive at times, it isn’t healthy to let stress build up. Because April is Stress Awareness and Management Month, check out these tips that can help you manage daily stressors:
Accept your needs and limits. Recognize situations that make you feel physically and mentally agitated so you can avoid them when possible, and cope when you can’t.
Manage your time. Prioritizing your activities can help you use your time well. Making a day-to-day schedule helps ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines.
Practice relaxation. Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to calm yourself. Taking a break to refocus can have benefits beyond the immediate moment.
Exercise daily. Schedule time to walk outside, bike, or any physical activity you can do. Whatever you do, make sure it’s fun. Daily exercise naturally produces stress-relieving hormones in your body and improves your overall physical health.
Set aside time for yourself. Schedule something that makes you feel good. It might be reading a book, watching a movie, or taking your dog for a walk.
Eat well. Eating unprocessed foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. Eating well can also help stabilize your mood.
Get enough sleep. Symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder, can be triggered by getting too little sleep.
Alcohol and drugs don’t reduce stress: in fact, they often worsen it. If you’re struggling with substance abuse, educate yourself and get help.
Talk to someone. Whether to friends, family, a counselor, or a support group, airing out and talking can help. If that isn’t enough, it may be time to talk to a mental health professional. They can help you pinpoint specific events that trigger you and help you create an action plan to change them.