So Long Stress!
Stress is ubiquitous in our society and is often the result of overwhelming demands coupled with a lack of time and resources to meet those demands. With the knowledge that stress is often a natural consequence of living, we can be proactive and make preparations to prevent stress from taking a toll on our minds and bodies. If you’re already feeling the ramifications of stress, not to worry. There are sure-fire exercises that you can begin integrating into your life to mediate the impact of stress.
While most of us would love having infinite time and energy to accomplish all of our tasks, acknowledging that we have finite resources is an important deterrent to becoming stressed. Keeping an activity log of what we’re able to accomplish in a given day can give us an idea of what is realistic to expect of ourselves. Understanding your limits and what you are capable of accomplishing is crucial to managing stress and the beginning step to setting boundaries. Avoid comparing your limits to another person’s limits. We each come with our own level of resiliency and we all work/complete tasks at our own pace.
After acknowledging our limitations, it’s important to not allow others to impose on us or overload us. This can be done by setting boundaries based on our limitations and enforcing them regularly. Sometimes this means sounding like a broken record when you repeatedly state “no” to people who may try to compromise these boundaries. You don’t have to explain yourself in great detail or give elaborate reasons as to why you can’t do something-the more succinct your reply is, the better.
Understand What is Within Our Control
Make a list of what is within your influence and control versus what is not. Sometimes we feel like we’re banging our head against the wall when we put time and energy into something which ultimately, isn’t within our sphere of influence. Invest in what you can control and set limits with the things that you cannot control.
Self-care is all-important to reduce our stress levels. Scheduling self-care does not have to be an elaborate thing, finding small moments to reset through grounding and deep breathing can also be valuable. Stress can make us feel out of control and powerless over our lives. Engaging in activities which are empowering and strengthening such as exercise can help us feel less vulnerable to the unpredictable elements that are so often a part of our lives.
“Health is wealth”, a mantra Jessica’s mother regularly repeated throughout her childhood. Jessica values achieving balance and wholeness in both arenas of mental and physical health. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a practicing mental health therapist, Jessica promotes healthy living, self-care, mindfulness, and above all, kindness towards self.