National Stress Awareness Month
April 6, 2020 – Uncertain Times Can Add to Stress Levels: TriWest Offers Tips to Help
April is designated as National Stress Awareness month, and TriWest Healthcare Alliance recognizes that stress is likely high during this time of uncertainty amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s natural to experience different and strong emotions during a disaster, but coping and getting help when needed is what’s best to help recover.
Most importantly, if you’re overwhelmed by stress or thinking of suicide or of harming yourself or others, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether you’re new to working from home, you’re concerned for your loved ones, or you have a problem you feel like you can’t solve, it’s important to remember that you can alleviate some stress in your life. It’s important to recognize the effects that stress can take on you.
Stress can adversely affect your health. It can sometimes cause:
- Difficulty sleeping
- High blood pressure
- Depression or anxiety
- Inability to concentrate
The good news is that there are ways to help cope with stress. Many of these tips are easy to do on your own and can be very helpful. Consider these tips from the National Institute of Health to help keep your stress in check:
- Get regular exercise.
Exercise can boost your mood and improve your health. Even something as simple as walking 30 minutes a day can help.
- Express your gratitude.
Studies show that expressing gratitude has a big influence on our stress levels, and can help make people feel better. As a suggestion, every morning when you wake, try writing down what you’re grateful for in a journal, or send a note or email to friends and family to let them know you appreciate them.
- Get some fresh air and sunshine.
Research shows that sunshine (and the vitamin D that comes with it) can help elevate serotonin in the body. Serotonin is a chemical that the body’s nerve cells produce, and can help regulate a person’s mood.
- Try a relaxing activity.
Any activity that helps you feel more calm and at ease is a step in a positive direction. Try something creative like putting together a puzzle, listening to your favorite music, relaxing with a pet, or meditating.
- Stay connected.
Especially now while we’re all self-isolating, it’s important to keep in touch with friends and loved ones, even if over the phone or virtually.
- Be mindful of your body and mind.
If you feel your moods negatively changing or if you feel you can’t cope, talk to your health care professional.
In this uncertain time, rest assured we’re in it together. For more tips to help manage stress, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD.
Source: National Institutes of Health