By: E. Ashley Wilkes, NP-C
“I am so stressed out I don’t know what to do!” No matter who you are, chances are you are dealing with or have recently dealt with some form of stress in your life, especially since we are just coming out of the holiday season. According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America Survey 2018, nearly 75% of respondents reported having at least one stress-related symptom in the past month and nearly half of respondents reported sleep disturbances related to stress.
Stress can have a significant impact on our health. Prolonged stress may impact blood pressure, weight and the development of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses (Mayo Clinic, 2018). According to the APA survey (2018) work (and money) was reported to be a significant cause of stress by 2/3 of respondents (64%).
There are lots of little things we can do every day to help us manage our stress levels better. Simple things like exercising more, getting more sleep and getting outside can help us better manage our stress. Even if you don’t get to the gym on a regular basis just moving around more can help with stress relief (Mazur, 2018). Practicing stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, tai chi, etc. can also be helpful (Mayo Clinic, 2018). It is also important to leave time for socializing with family and friends and taking time for your self to engage in hobbies.
As we head into 2019, let’s plan to make this year the best yet by managing our stress instead of letting our stress manage us!
Stress Management Resources:
Mayo Clinic – Stress Management
American Psychological Association (2018, October). Stress in America Generation Z. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2018/stress-gen-z.pdf
Mayo Clinic. (2018). Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987
Mazur, N. (2018). New year, new healthy habits: 4 science backed ways to help beat stress in 2019. Retrieved from https://www.jnj.com/health-and-wellness/4-simple-stress-management-tips