The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is here — and during this season, your to-do list might be a little longer than usual. As you prepare to celebrate, remember that finding healthy ways to manage stress is always essential to your health, happiness, and well-being.
If you’re experiencing stress, you aren’t alone. Stress is a reality in our lives, and although it can seem overwhelming sometimes, it doesn’t mean that you’re managing your time poorly or that your life isn’t under control.
How stress can impact your heath
The most common symptoms of stress are emotional, like feeling impatient or worried. Stress can also affect our physical health in a variety of ways, both in the short term and the long term. It can cause or intensify fatigue, headaches, and insomnia. It can cause stomachaches and nausea that disrupt your eating patterns. It can make you more vulnerable to getting sick by weakening your immune system.
In the long term, sustained amounts of high stress can increase your risk of heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and other conditions.
Although stress can have serious effects, proper stress management can moderate its effects and lift the burden off your shoulders.
What is stress management?
Stress management is the process of recognizing the stress you’re feeling and learning to take care of yourself while navigating those feelings.
The first step to stress management is awareness. Once you’ve identified how you’re feeling, you can respond in a variety of ways.
Sometimes stress management means making necessary changes to your external environment. You may need to adjust your work schedule or say no to a new commitment.
You can also make internal changes to take care of yourself better. Meditation, breathing exercises, and practicing mindfulness are effective ways to minimize stress when external circumstances are out of your control.
Stress management that works for you
Stress management can look different for everyone. Some people turn to physical exercise, while other people prefer to talk with a friend.
To brainstorm ways to deal with stress, ask yourself: what has helped to get you through stressful periods in your life? What do you do that brings you joy? In difficult times, it can be helpful to rely on stress relief strategies that are tried and true.
If you’re experiencing a higher level of stress than you’re used to, don’t forget that there are many different ways to cope. If your usual method isn’t helping as much as you’d like it to, we’re here to connect you to new tools that you can try out.
The most effective approach to stress management is often a blend of social support, mindfulness practice, creative outlets, healthy eating and sleeping, and physical exercise.
How Vera can help you manage stress
Our care teams are here to help you find ways to effectively manage your stress. We’ll help you to navigate through all your different options for stress relief to find the ones that feel like a good fit for you.
Your Vera whole health coach can help you to test new strategies, measure how well they’re working, and take next steps. Our goal is to support you and empower you with new ways to relieve stress. Together, we’ll find the approach that works best for you.
Call your care center and talk to your health coach about how to practice self-care today!