manage stressIt’s not hard to believe that more than half of Americans are concerned about their stress levels. Between 40-hour workweeks, raising kids, social media rants, along with everything life throws at us, it’s no wonder why most of us are fighting off anxiety. While some stress can be motivational, constant stress can harm both our physical and psychological health. The question is how do you minimize or manage it better? For Stress Awareness Month, Hospitality Health ER wants to help you build some healthy coping mechanisms.

How Can I Manage Stress More Effectively?

#1. Get to the root cause(s) of the stress: Sometimes there’s so much going on in your life that it’s hard to identify the biggest stressors. Are you having a hard time keeping up with tight timelines at work? Is your kid’s behavior driving you crazy? Are you overloaded with five loads of laundry every week? (That alone can drive anyone mad.)  Once you pinpoint your biggest stressors, you’ve made the first step towards managing your stress.

#2. Focus on the things you can control: Start by accepting the fact that there are things simply out of your control. You can’t change an ever-so-grumpy colleague or find out what questions will appear on a test. If you can’t control it, don’t sweat it. Worrying about things you can’t control is a waste of your focus. Instead, think of all the things you can do to make the situation better. For a difficult coworker that refuses to be a team player, you can talk to your boss about how you can still get your team goals accomplished despite your co-worker’s behavior. If you’re that stressed out about a test, ask your teacher for a tutor or extra help.

#3. Fill your cup: A good way to manage stress is by building in time for things that bring you peace or joy. What hobbies or activities make you feel good? What helps you decompress? No matter what the week or month throws at you, try to commit yourself to a hobby. There are many different reasons why hobbies help with stress relief. This is your sacred time, so try your best to keep it, even if it means investing in a babysitter once a month to get you the time you need.

#4. Manage your time better: Many people who are stressed claim they need more time to get things done. Make a list of all your weekly activities and start by circling your most critical activities. This might mean reducing your children’s extracurricular activities. Yes, they may love all of them, but they also love when mom and dad are happy, not stressed out. Managing your time better might also involve creating boundaries. And as hard as it is to say no to invitations or engagements, you should learn to start saying “Thanks, but I can’t this time” more often. Studies show some of the most productive people are protective of their boundaries and time.

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