Healthy Ways to Handle Life’s Stressors
When stress becomes unmanageable, try these evidence-based tools to tackle it in healthy ways.
- Try to eliminate the stressor. Can you let go of some responsibility, relax your expectations, or ask for help?
- Cultivate social support. Reach out to friends or family. Talk to people. Giving support to someone in need can also help.
- Seek good nutrition. Stress can impact your hormones, which in turn can increase or decrease your appetite. Try to consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables daily. Avoid substances like alcohol which do not solve the problem and can have serious health effects.
- Relax your muscles. Stretches, massage, and warm baths are helpful ways to do this.
- Protect your sleep. Try to institute a consistent sleep routine that includes time to wind down before you turn out the lights. Also try to avoid caffeine and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening and put away your screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Get physical. Not only can physical activity relieve stress, it can also improve sleep and combat the negative effects of stress on your immune system. A brisk 30-minute walk or an impromptu dance party in the living room can do the trick.
- Take a moment in nature. This can help refocus and calm your mind.
- Keep your pleasurable activities. When life gets overwhelming, we often drop our leisure activities first. But this is counterproductive. Even when time is tight, find opportunities to do something you enjoy – read a novel, sing along to your favorite song, or stream your favorite comedy. (Laugher has health benefits too!)
- Reframe your thinking. Reframing your thoughts around a stressor can help manage your emotions, reducing feelings of stress. Set realistic expectations for yourself and strive to accept situation out of your control.
St. Luke’s Penn Foundation EAP can help your employees manage stress and live Life, in Balance. Click here to learn more.