Mental Health ResourcesStress
What is stress? The definition varies depending on the expert. Most will agree it's the physical, mental, emtional strain or tension felt within the body. Another definition is, "a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize." Not all stress is harmful but stress (good or bad) does follow us everywhere, so let's learn how to manage it with the resources below.
Feeling out of control
Mood swings, crying spells
Boredom, lack of interest
Sense of hopelessness
Quick heart/breathing rate
Stomach pain, cramps
"Out of it"
Difficulty solving problems
Flashbacks of the events
Preoccupation with the event
Lowered attention span
Excessive screen time
Increased substance use
Change in appetite
Increased nervous habits
Loss of sexual drive
Videos & Podcasts
Ways to Reduce Stress
Eliminate unnecessary stressors from your life/schedule
Limit energy and time devoted to highly stressful activities, relationships, thoughts
Use time management and organization skills to decrease excess stress
Journal to get stressors down on paper and off your mind
Get plenty of physical activity and movement to release stress and tension
Be aware of your reactions, noticing ways your reactions may be amplifying stress
Take breaks to recharge
Talk to people about your feelings, fears, and uncertainties
Maintain a healthy, balanced diet with regular meals;
Do not attempt to numb your emotional pain with drugs or alcohol
Remember, stress is normal and experienced by everyone
Differentiate between productive and unproductive stress
Recognize ways that stress keeps you energized and motivated
Be curious about reactions to stress, don't avoid the feelings
Instead of getting upset about your body's reactions to stress, recognize them as normal, and appreciate what your body does for you
Give yourself permission to temporarily fall apart, feel rotten, and cry
Ways to Cope
Soaking in the bathtub
Planning a vacation
Looking through old pictures
Going to a movie
Listening to music
Lying in the sun
Doing a puzzle
Doing chores around the house
Getting a massage
Taking care of plants
Playing a game
Singing in the house
Going to the beach
Going for a drive
Doing arts and crafts
Learning a musical instrument
Making a card or gift for someone
Going out to dinner
Joining a book club
Going to a play or concert
Playing with animals
How to Help Those You Care About
Encourage your friend to talk to you about how he/she is feeling.
Don't assume a gender difference in how trauma is handled.
Tell your friend how you feel; that you are sorry he/she has been hurt.
Remind your friend that these confusing reactions are normal.
Refrain from trying to make things better. Be willing to say nothing. Just being there may be enough.
If it seems appropriate, offer to make an appointment to go with him/her to the first counseling appointment..
Don't be afraid to ask how a friend is doing, and if he/she answers be prepared to listen.
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