“My mind is a bad neighborhood I never try to go into alone.” ~ Anne Lamott
“A human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” ~ William James
In today’s world, stress is an undeniable part of life. Many people are running nonstop when it comes to their career, family life and other responsibilities. In this fast paced world it can be challenging to find time to slow down and relax.
The thing is, if you do not find time to slow down and take care of you it can, over time, catch up with you. According to the American Institute of Stress, 75% to 90% of all visits to health care providers are connected to stress-related conditions. Chronic stress can affect your mood, energy levels, sugar levels, weight, concentration, creativity and your sex drive.
Here are some often overlooked tips that may be helpful in the coping process:
Take in a slow, deep breath and let the oxygen fill your lungs near capacity and then slowly release the air. Repeat as needed. The increase in oxygen levels can help your brain work more efficiently. You may be surprised how many people do not take the time for this simple practice.
Don't be afraid to call a mayday. It sounds simple but firefighters are notorious for thinking they should not be the one’s asking for help but providing it instead. You should not have to try to face challenges alone. There is no shame in seeking help and it's better to ask than get buried under the weight of the obstacle you are dealing with.
Just like filling in the station log, writing in a journal has its place. There may be times when you are unable or maybe uncomfortable talking with someone about how you are feeling. Writing your thoughts (or frustrations) in a notebook or journal can be a way to release some of your tension.
More than just sleeping, you need to find a way to have some fun so you can prevent burnout. Find a healthy hobby, have a barbeque with friends, meditate...whatever works for you. It's important to invest time in yourself away from the job.
These are just a few ideas to help you cope with stress. What is your favorite way to cope? Please fill free to share some of your ways of coping.