Are you stressed out? Do you know if you are stressed out? It may seem like a strange question to ask, but we can actually be stressed out to the max and not be aware of it; hence the need for National Stress Awareness Day; just around the corner on April 16th.
Why not take the time to assess where you are on the stress-o-meter? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I often moody?
- Am I easily distracted?
- Do I have steady energy throughout my day?
- Do I have a strong support network of family and friends?
- Can I easily let go of anger?
- Do I have time for myself?
- Do I feel that I have control over the circumstances of my life?
Please note that these questions are in no way meant to diagnose stress. They may, however, shine some light on and bring awareness to whether or not you are experiencing stress.
If you believe you are stressed out, there are some measures you can take to at least begin the process of alleviating the pressure you feel:
- Get a daily dose of nature – spend just a few minutes a day in nature to reconnect.
- Breathe! When we are stressed we tend to take shallow breaths. A few times each day, stop and take some deep breaths – simple, yet very energizing.
- Do not rely on processed and/or sugary foods for fast energy. Opt for balanced meals throughout the day; lean protein, healthy carbs (vegetables, fruits, whole grains) along with a small amount of high quality fat (olive oil, for example).
- Become aware of your triggers. What situations or people conjure up sadness or anger in you, or make you feel out of control. Work with a counselor or therapist to create a plan for how to healthfully deal with stressful situations and/or to determine if there is a need for more extreme solutions.
- Spend some time in gratitude each day. On that drive home from the office, turn off the radio banter and tune into being thankful; thankful for the food you eat, the sunrise, the chirping birds, the people you love or how that rug really ties the room together.
- Get quality sleep. Make sure your room is dark, at a pleasant temperature, and that you have comfortable bedding. Keep a “worry book” next to your bed to write down all your concerns of the day; then close the book and let it rest so you can rest. Read my previous blog for more ideas on getting a good night’s rest.
Awareness is always the first step. Stress can deplete you of energy, cause you to feel overwhelmed, and make life less joyful. If you have any great tips for de-stressing, share them with me below!