Health & Nutrition
More than 55 percent of Americans experience stress each day, according to the American Institute of Stress. Changes, both expected and unexpected, are often causes of stress for many people. When confronted with change, people can feel overwhelmed. For some, change makes them shut down while others may not be affected at all. If not managed, stress can lead to physical and mental problems. Since change is inevitable, everyone must find their own unique way to embrace or reject change and manage their stress.
Invest in Rest
Getting the proper amount of sleep is essential for good health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages adults 18 and older to get seven or more hours of sleep each night. Sleep helps people to recover physically and mentally. It also helps people better manage their stress.
Now is a great time for people to develop an exercise plan or to modify their current plan. The goal is to stay active and burn calories. Staying active helps reduce stress, increases energy, and improves muscle strength. People can stay active by enjoying walks outside or getting busy doing some spring cleaning.
Change can often cause an increase in emotions, such as fear, anxiety, sadness, or confusion. Talking to someone is a wonderful way to deal with these emotions. Express feelings with loved ones, friends, or mental health professionals. Journaling, drawing, poetry, and dancing are also creative ways to express feelings.
Start a Fun Project
Identify a fun project to do. People can base the project on things they love to do or the things they want to learn. Being focused on a project creates a healthy avenue to help deal with stress. Remember, this project should be fun and not stressful.
Volunteering can expand social networks. It also offers the chance to give back to the community, develop new skills, and release stress. Time spent serving others makes a person feel appreciated and it adds meaning to life.
Be Mindful of Eating Habits
When stressed, people should be mindful of what they eat, the portion sizes, and the number of times they eat. Eating smaller portions, less sweets, less fast foods, and drinking more water are all healthier choices. Also, planning meals is a great way to invest in health.
During this time, when so many things in life have changed, people should take time to invest in themselves. People should focus on activities that will improve their overall well-being. These coping strategies will enhance someone’s quality of life as they deal with changes in their life. Visit www.aces.edu to learn more about managing stress during times of change.