Radio From Hell

Radio From Hell Wellness Check with Alaina Wood | 4.16.2024

How to Manage Stress Holistically

We will all experience stress in our lives, and at times it can feel pretty overwhelming. What do we do when faced with high stress situations, and how can we keep ourselves in optimal health while still getting things done that we need to? Luckily, there are many healthy coping mechanisms we can employ, some that will help us build up our long-term stress resilience and some that we can use in the moment to help regulate our nervous system and bring us back to a state of calm.

When thinking about long-term stress management, I like to imagine a container of water. Each moment of stress depletes this container ever so slightly, when we use long-term coping strategies we add water back into the container, drop by drop.

Long term strategies

  • Plan ahead.
    • If you know that family dinner over the weekend (or any event) is going to be stressful, think of ways you can combat some of that stress. This might mean building a script around difficult conversations, setting up personal boundaries ahead of time, or wearing your fidget ring so you can distract yourself.
  • Set boundaries.
    • While setting a boundary might feel stressful in the moment, it’s a great tool to help avoid future stress and burnout. The quote by Prentis Hemphill sums up boundaries pretty well, “Boundaries are the distance at which I can love you and me simultaneously.” Boundaries can save you a lot of trouble in the long run and they are well worth the possibly awkward conversations.
  • Move your body.
    • Moving our bodies helps us to release muscle stiffness and build up resilience to future stressors. Getting movement through walking, formal exercise sessions, or playing is a great way to support long-term stress resilience.

Sometimes despite all that we can do we still experience moments of high stress. When these moments strike it can be difficult to step out of the feelings of overwhelm and worry. In these moments we can look to our immediate support tools.

Immediate support

  • Check in with your breath.
    • The simple act of taking three slow and deliberate breaths can help us to find peace and calm in the moment. The breath can help to bring us back to the present moment and release some stress.
  • Meditate.
    • Meditation is a great tool to help with in the moment stress reduction. You can tune in to a guided meditation practice, listen to some soothing music, or simply focus on the breath for a few moments.
  • Spend time in nature.
    • Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce the impacts of stress on the body and the mind. If you are not able to spend time in nature, simply looking at nature can also help to reduce stress. Look at the stress out your window or find images and videos online.

For both long-term and immediate stress support talking to a trusted friend or loved one can be a great way to get support and advice. For more long term or intense stress support, seek the help of a professional such as a counselor or therapist.,brain%20linked%20to%20negative%20thoughts.

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