Let’s Talk About Stress and Coping Skills

We all feel stress at some point in our lives. For many persons, there are various sources of stress (eg., work, family, health issues, the pandemic, racism, or finances) which may overlap at times and in some cases, stress in one area of life impacts the other areas of life. Although signs/symptoms of stress may sound like anxiety, the cause of stress is usually different to anxiety.

You may think of stress as a temporary experience (eg., work deadlines) while anxiety is more prolonged. You may even notice that sometimes both stress and anxiety are used interchangeably, however it is important to identify the difference so you can appropriately manage the symptoms and seek professional help. Usually, when you feel stressed, the intensity of the stress significantly decreases once the temporary experience ends (eg., you met the deadlines for work). In some cases, stress may lead to anxiety, therefore, it’s best not to ignore symptoms of stress. Here are some signs that you might be experiencing stress:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • irritability
  • muscle tension
  • inability to focus
  • headaches
  • feeling overwhelmed

It’s important to find small ways each day to minimize the impact of stress on your mind and body. Here are a few ideas and coping skills for stress management:

  • get regular exercise or find ways to move your body each day
  • journal about your experiences
  • break down larger tasks into smaller action items to avoid becoming too overwhelmed
  • practice yoga to help with mind-body connections
  • pay attention to your breathing – take intentional deep breaths
  • set and maintain healthy boundaries with others
  • get organized to avoid missing important dates/tasks
  • make time for yourself each day
  • get enough sleep
  • be mindful of what you eat and how food might be impacting your levels of stress
  • talk with someone about your stressors!

I’m sharing a few websites with helpful information about stress and stress management:

Cleveland Clinic
National Institute of Mental Health: Is it stress or anxiety?
American Psychological Association: Stress effects on the body

I also recently shared a practice on Instagram that I hope will be a helpful resource and coping skill:

Let me know if you tried this practice!

Let me know how you plan to manage stress this month! You can connect with me on Instagram or contact me through this blog!

Karisse

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