- Michael Sparks, MD
Stress is a natural part of life. Everyone experiences it from time to time. However, when stress becomes chronic, it can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
There are many different ways to manage stress. Some people find that exercise, relaxation techniques, or spending time in nature are helpful. Others find that talking to a therapist or counselor can be beneficial.
If you are struggling with stress, it is important to find what works best for you. Here are a few tips to help you get started with managing stress:
Identify your stressors. The first step to managing stress is to identify the things that are causing you stress. Once you know what your stressors are, you can start to develop strategies for dealing with them.
Make time for relaxation. It is important to make time for relaxation in your daily life. This could involve taking a yoga class, reading a book, or spending time in nature.
Get enough sleep. When you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to experience stress. Make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. How is your sleep hygiene?
Eat a healthy diet. Eating a healthy diet can help you feel better both physically and mentally. Avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive caffeine.
Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. That is just brisk walking or swimming; no need to start training for a marathon! Unless that is your thing!
Learn to say no. It is okay to say no to requests that you do not have time for or that will add to your stress level.
Take breaks. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a break. Step away from whatever you are doing and do something that you enjoy. Take a break to work on your breathing exercises.
Talk to someone. If you are struggling to manage stress on your own, talk to a therapist or counselor. They can help you develop coping strategies and develop a stress management plan. We should note, they come from all walks of life. Sometimes your first counselor just isn't a good fit and that is okay. Try again. Sometimes it will take 2-3 tries before you find the right person.
Managing stress can be challenging, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you cope with stress, this is just the starting place!
SparksMD Family Medicine is Sanford's Direct Primary Care Clinic, helping to restore the patient-physician relationship. We believe in price-transparent, affordable, concierge style primary care. For one low monthly membership, you get your doctor's cell phone number, less waiting, same day visits, and steep discounts on medications, labs, and imaging amongst other awesome benefits! Send Dr. Sparks an email directly for more information! doc@SparksFamilyMed.com. Ready to get started? Enroll online and Dr. Sparks will reach out to schedule your first visit!