Managing Stress

Author: GOeBlogger

June 2, 2021

Stress is a normal reaction when changes occur; you may experience physical, emotional, or even intellectual responses as a result of it. We wrote about stress earlier this year in our blog which you can find here. Today, we've got some stress management tools that can help you deal with things in a healthy manner.

Keeping a stress journal can help you identify stressors that are causing you grief. It can highlight unconscious patterns and habits in your daily life that are no longer serving you, and help bring positive and productive change. Over time you can look back and see what strategies were successful and what didn't work. It doesn't have to be overly complicated either, keep it short and simple so that journaling doesn't feel like a chore.

  1. Start by making a daily log of each time you feel stressed.
  2. Write down exactly what is causing your stress - try to identify it as best as you can!
  3. Note how you feel physically and emotionally.
  4. How did you act in response?
  5. What did you do to feel better?

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to help unwind and shake off the tension of daily stress. The last hour before bed should consist of mellow activities that do not involve screens. An article from Harvard Medical notes that blue light emitted from electronic screens affects sleep and suppresses the secretion of melatonin; a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate the circadian rhythm. Instead of browsing or watching something at night, make a hot cup of non-caffeinated tea and immerse yourself in a good book. Sometimes the best show is the original TV, reading and using our imaginations!

Part of your bedtime routine can consist of a few relaxing activities:

  • Light incense or use aromatherapy essential oils to create a calm evening environment. Research on aromatherapy is fairly limited, but we do know that certain scents are known to help relax and sleep. Lavender, chamomile, jasmine, and bergamot are a few scents that can help settle and soothe.
  • Do some light stretching to relieve muscle tension and relax the mind and body. Focus on the breath as you stretch, inhaling when opening the front of the body, and exhaling when compressing and moving deeper into stretches. Make this a time to check in with your body. Notice what areas in the body feel the most tense.
  • Adult colouring books are a simple way to calm an active mind. It takes your attention away from yourself (and those things that are stressing you out!) and into the present moment. When thoughts are focused on this simple activity, your brain tends to relax. You're not distracted by your own thoughts and judgements.
  • Ask a family member for a hug. Oxytocin is often called the "love hormone," and it's released when we cuddle or bond. It's the reason why being hugged feels so good. So when you're feeling down, give someone a squeeze and feel your mood lift.
  • Spend time with your pet. Animals are very intuitive and often know exactly what we need, even if it's a little cuddle now and then. Even watching fish swimming around can be a calming experience.

If you've noticed that you are experiencing prolonged stress, anxiety, or depression, consider booking an appointment with one of our GOeVisit practitioners!

Please note that the anxiety, depression, stress interview is intended for initial assessment only. Any ongoing treatment resulting from the diagnosis and treatment plan will need to be carried out by a primary care provider or with a mental health professional.

 

 

GOeBlogger

GOeBlogger is a health enthusiast and avid reader living and thriving in vibrant Vancouver. When she's not nerding out at her laptop, you can find her exploring the beautiful BC coastline with her dog.

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