It's normal to feel stressed or anxious when faced with times of uncertainty, but there are things you can do at home to help! Try these tips for identifying the symptoms and finding some relief.
Follow these guidelines to reduce stress:
- Recognize the symptoms of stress. Common symptoms can include headaches, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, problems sleeping, irritability, anxiety, upset stomach, back and neck pain, overeating or loss of appetite, forgetfulness, and fatigue.
- Pay attention to how stress affects you. For example, noting that your first instinct is to reach for the cookie jar when stressed will help you plan healthier alternatives to have on hand for your next snack attack.
- Exercise. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week (that's five days of 30 minutes each day). Fall is the perfect time of year to go for a walk or bike ride around your neighborhood or a hike in the woods.
- Stay focused on your life and family. Search online for fun activities you can do together and use video and phone calls to stay in touch with loved ones who live elsewhere. Set goals with your family members or work together on projects like organizing your home.
- Don't take it out on the ones you love. A lot of families have been experiencing new levels of togetherness over the last year and a half. Encourage each other to take breaks in your own space when needed.
- Take control of your finances. Money worries can be a major source of stress. Take a realistic look at your financial situation, and then plan a course of action that puts you back in control, like paying down debt or increasing your savings.
- Find healthy ways to escape stress. Get everyone in the family involved in trying a new recipe or planning your next vacation. Having things to look forward to is good for our mental health.
- Focus on the good. Start a gratitude journal or ask your family to get in the habit of sharing one thing a day each of you are thankful for. It's a helpful way to stay grounded.
- Take breaks from social media and the news. While it's important to stay informed, most of us have been dealing with information overload for awhile, so taking breaks is important, especially around bed time.
- Ask for help. The Christ Hospital Physicians are available see you, now also via video visits in addition to in-person appointments. If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text 741741.
If you've tried some of these tips and are still feeling overwhelmed, reach out to your primary care provider for additional support or assistance.