Bouncing Back to a Better You by Dr. Alethea Turner, Associate Director – HonorHealth Family Medicine Residency Program
Many of us deal with stress on a daily basis. Some causes may include pressures at work, unhealthy relationships, medical issues, financial problems and even past traumas. All of it can lead to bad habits, poor health and a general sense of unhappiness.
Resilience is our ability to bounce back and regain control. We might not always be able to change our circumstances, but we can change how we handle stress.
6 Tips for Coping with Stress
- Relationships – Think about the relationships in your life. Which ones bring you joy? Take time to connect with those who add positivity to your life. Schedule a weekly date night, monthly dinner with your friends, or even call a relative you love.
- Nutrition – Emotional eating is real! We often use food to celebrate our wins and to drown our sorrows. Yet, unhealthy eating can make us feel tired and bad about ourselves. Try to cut out sugary drinks, pack only healthy snacks, or cut down on portion sizes. If you are eating out choose items that are healthiest on the menu rather than those packed with calories.
- Mental Health – Stress can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, like worrying all of the time or feeling hopeless. Talk to your doctor and consider meeting with a counselor. It might change your life.
- Exercise – We all know that exercise is good for our health, but did you know that it is also a powerful tool for managing anxiety and depression? Turn on some music and dance in your room, or go for a walk over your lunch break. Getting your body moving can help you in more ways than one.
- Sleep – Good sleep habits are essential for recovering from a stressful day and for keeping your mind and body healthy. Create a bedtime routine that includes sleeping in a cool, dark and quite room. Try to sleep around the same time every night and avoid looking at a screens (TV, cell phone, tablets…) at least 30-60 min before bed. Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Mindfulness – Mindfulness is another way you can achieve calmness and control over your feelings. It is about being completely aware of your thoughts and emotions, being focused on a single moment or action, and accepting yourself. You can practice mindfulness in many ways including writing in a journal, taking a minute to focus on deep breathing, meditating (there are apps for that), or even listening carefully to someone you are talking to.
Tip the scales in your favor! Introducing even ONE of these practices into your daily life will help balance out stress and negativity, and can help you build resilience and a greater sense of well-being.