By Mary Wallen, Brothers of Mercy Director of Programming & Community Relations
Since 1992, April has been known as Stress Awareness Month. As a Wellness Campus we want to increase awareness and assist in ways to manage stress.
By definition, stress is the response to an emotional pressure over a prolonged period of time when an individual perceives they have no control.
Yes! I believe we can all relate to this! Different parts of our daily lives cause stress in different ways. Our personal relationships and responsibilities to work- related stress are shared by all. Though stress is how we perceive things as individuals, and is all wrapped up in how we deal with what life throws us, make no mistake that the effect on your body is real.
Unrecognized or managed stress can contribute to headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, rapid heart rate, chest pain, sleep disturbance and behavioral symptoms, like irritability or being withdrawn. Stress can also contribute to conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, to name a few.
As health care workers we are always cognizant of these symptoms in our patients and residents and try to find ways to provide relief for them. We are not always so good at seeing this in ourselves or at recognizing these symptoms in our coworkers.
There are some simple ways to deal with stress that may be something we can all try:
-Listen to music: it can help calm activity in the brain
-Exercise! Just a 5 minute brisk walk can start to calm your mind
-Reduce caffeine intake (sorry Tim Hortons, we all love you!)
-Keep a positive attitude (yes you can!) and accept that there are things you can’t control (ugh… okay)
-Be assertive (Not aggressive guys, that’s something else!)
– Be assertive in your feelings, opinions and beliefs instead of becoming angry
– Try meditation: Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and just breathe. Don’t think (Yes-easier said than done…but try!)
– Help someone…doing something nice for someone makes you feel good (yes it does)
-Don’t forget to laugh! (my personal favorite)… Dad jokes are the best!
We all need to take a little time everyday to just take care of ourselves so that we can be the best possible version of us!Did you also know that April is national Humor month? Is this a coincidence? I think not!