A Fresh Approach to Stress

With the New Year comes a fresh start and in 2017, we have an opportunity to take a fresh approach to an old problem: STRESS. Our ability to manage stress directly relates to better health outcomes whether you are a family caregiver or a loved one receiving care in the home. Stress management is really like a tire on your vehicle or bike. You need enough pressure to keep going, but not so much that you explode. It is all about balance. We all have stress, but knowing what causes you stress and finding a personalized way of responding to it are the essential aspects of stress management. Here are a few important aspects to incorporate into your personalized stress management plan:  

Self-Care Skills: If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will! Humor, regular exercise, a balanced diet, deep breathing, and engaging activities are all an important aspect of living well in the good and challenging times. Pencil yourself into your schedule, or consider keeping a list of self-care activities that you can draw from in a stressful moment.  

Community of Support:  Having people to lean on in hard times and laugh with in good times is crucial to building a strong support system. Remaining connected is so important to well-being. Remember to share with others to process your experience and ask for help when it is needed.  

Openness to Change: The world around us is constantly changing and the more flexible and adaptable we are, the easier time we will have coping with and welcoming change. 

Maintaining a Positive Attitude: According to the psychologist William James, “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”. So, while deep breathing, good diet and exercise, and plenty of sleep are important allies in our battle with stress, it is what we focus our attention on that has the largest impact on our stress. 

Published on January 3, 2017.