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Managing the Stress Monster

Stress takes a physical and emotional toll on the body. Coping with stress in a positive way, known as resilience, is associated with lower rates of depression, increased longevity, and greater life satisfaction. We’ve faced plenty of stressful situations in the last several months including job and income instability, loss of loved ones, and isolation from family and friends. 

As we struggle to move forward from this pandemic and its aftermath, how we adjust to these transitions will determine what life looks like moving forward. Resilience allows you to harness your inner strength. It doesn’t make your problems go away but does give you the ability to see past your present concerns. You still experience anger, pain, and grief, but your renewed strength helps move forward in the aftermath of a hurricane.

  • Stay connected – Reaching out to others for support rather than going it alone is a key concept of resiliency. Positive relationships with friends and family provides you with extra support in good and bad times. 
  • Make every day meaningful – Find something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. 
  • Volunteer – Selfless acts have an intrinsic reward and can give perspective on your own life and troubles.
  • Take care of yourself – Include movement in your daily activities, get plenty of sleep, maintain a clean diet, and practice meditation, yoga, deep breathing, or prayer. 
  • Be proactive – Reframe the situation, as hard as it is in the moment. Don’t ignore or repress the pain you feel but focus on things you do have control over. 
  • Make it a habit – Becoming more resilient takes patience and time. 
  • Cultivate positive thinking everyday – Even the simple act of walking your dog on a beautiful sunny day or a phone conversation with your closest friend can change your mindset.

There will always be stress in our daily lives as it’s a part of living, but remember that it ebbs and flows. No emotion is finite. Finding our inner resilience ensures that happier and healthier days lie ahead.

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