Most people experience some level of stress, and for many, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased daily stress. It’s important to find methods to manage it because it can greatly impact your health.
“Really figuring out how our bodies react to stress and what stress means helps with stress management,” said Taylor Reed, nurse practitioner at Vivacity Care Center.
Signs you may be overstressed include heart palpitations, breathing quickly, sleeping excessively and withdrawing from social activities. Other signs include not finding joy in things you usually do and not treating loved ones with respect.
If stress is affecting your life, there are steps you can take to reduce your stress level.
Focus on what you can control. This includes words, actions, some thoughts and how you interact with and treat others.
Adjust your attitude. Try to take deliberate thoughts and challenges and reframe them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Step outside and engage in physical activity. Breathing fresh air and moving your body can work wonders. Also taking five deep breaths can help you feel more in control and in the moment.
Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is your body’s reset and is vital for reducing stress. Practice good sleep hygiene to ensure it’s easier to rest.
“Ultimately that quality of sleep at night can really determine your attitude and ability to cope and adapt to some stress during the next day,” Reed said. “So if we wake feeling rested, we wake feeling recharged, it’s going to be easier to handle some of those things that are thrown our way.”
Reed encourages asking for help, giving yourself grace and remembering that we’re all in this together.
“Whatever thoughts you’re feeling right now, I can guarantee you’re not the only one,” Reed said.
Visit the Vivacity Care Center website to learn more.