By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)–Stress – it’s a part of life. It can be brought on by small things: you’re running late to an appointment, the kids are fighting again, or you receive an upsetting phone call. It can be the result of something much larger: an accident, conflict in a relationship, or the death of a loved one.
While everyone experiences stress at times, a prolonged bout of it can affect your health and ability to cope with life. That’s why social support and self-care are important. They can help you put your problems in perspective.
Sometimes stress can be good. For instance, it can help you develop skills needed to manage potentially threatening situations in life. However, stress can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Strong emotions like fear, sadness, or other symptoms of depression are normal, as long as they are temporary and don’t interfere with daily activities. If these emotions last too long or cause other problems, it’s a different story.
The CDC says some of the best ways to manage stress in hard times are through self-care:
- Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to be a temporary fix to feel better, but in the long run they can create more problems and add to your stress—instead of take it away.
- Find support. Seek help from a partner, family member, friend, counselor, doctor, or clergyperson. Having a sympathetic, listening ear and sharing about your problems and stress really can lighten the burden.
- Connect socially. After a stressful event, it is easy isolate yourself. Make sure that you are spending time with loved ones. Consider planning fun activities with your partner, children, or friends.
- Take care of yourself.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out—for example, treat yourself to a therapeutic massage
- Maintain a normal routine
- Stay active. You can take your mind off your problems by giving—
helping a neighbor, volunteering in the community, even taking the dog on a long walk. These can be positive ways to channel your feelings.
More tips can be found on the CDC’s website.