By Robert Lien, MHA
Each day people face numerous stressors that can be caused by family, traffic, work or events happening around the world. How we manage these stressors can have an impact on our mental and physical well-being. Allowing stress to grow for extended periods of time can lead to conditions like anxiety and depression, as well as the use of alcohol and drugs
How many times have you heard somebody say they need to have a couple of cocktails or a glass of wine to relax? More than ever before people have access to marijuana and they will use it to “mellow out” or to be able to deal with tough times in life. The downside is these are not good long-term coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and can have detrimental consequences. The use of drugs or alcohol can quickly lead to addiction, which creates more anxiety and depression, as well as adding more stress to a person’s life.
Here are three solutions for managing stress that anyone can use today:
1. Set an alarm for reminders to do things or take breaks. It’s easier than ever before to get sucked into watching the news shows discussing world problems, looking at social media or working for hours on end without taking a break. By setting an alarm it will remind you that it’s time to walk away for a few minutes perhaps go for a walk (without your phone) do some stretches or even meditate for a few minutes. By taking a quick break it will help you to reset and refocus.
2. Being mindful of what you eat and when you eat is very important to stress management. People may have different nutritional needs and perhaps should consult with a nutritionist or their medical doctor regarding specific foods they should be eating or not eating. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast can make a big difference what type of energy you have for the rest of the day. Also, being mindful of things like sugar and caffeine intake, especially late in the day will have an impact and how your body prepares to go to sleep at night. Food is a very important part of sleep hygiene and plays an important part of how your mind and body are recognizing that it’s time to wind down to go to sleep. Take time today to evaluate what you’re eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Adjusting your food intake is something that you can make a change in today.
3. Talk to someone that you trust. Sharing with other people what things stress you out can help you get perspective. Perhaps you can share with a friend or family member or even a therapist the things that you are beginning to feel stress about. By talking about these things you can get direction or advice so that the stressors do not become too big. Also by saying out loud what it is that you feel stressed by you can help take the power out of it. There are great benefits to sharing the stress with others you may find that they are also having the same stress and can share with you the tools that they are using to get through it.
Call CAST Centers Admission Department today at 866-283-9885 to learn more about our outpatient treatment programs and to see how your Anthem Blue Cross insurance, Aetna PPO insurance, Cigna PPO insurance or UnitedHealthcare PPO insurance can help with the cost.