SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – National Stress Awareness Day falls on the first Wednesday of November.
Stress is toxic to your mental and physical health.
Some signs to look for are:
“That can include anything from being very disorganized. Um, being forgetful. To starting to have thoughts of maybe not wanting to be around. Isolating and just, you know, having negative thoughts about who we are as a person,” said Erin Bonstead, mental health therapist at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Inability to relax
- Difficulty of maintaining emotional balance
- Stomach discomfort
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
You’re most likely to experience toxic stress is when:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Not having a network of support
- Experiencing a major life change – moving, death of a loved one, new job, getting married, or having a child
- Experiencing poor physical health
- Not eating well
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers tips on how to deal with stress:
- Manage your time. Prioritizing your activities can help you use your time well.
- Practice relaxation. Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to calm yourself.
- Exercise daily. Schedule time to walk outside, bike, or join a dance class and make sure it’s fun.
- Set aside time for yourself. Schedule something that makes you feel good.
- Eat well. Eating unprocessed foods, like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a healthy body and mind.
- Get enough sleep. Symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder, can be triggered by getting too little sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs. They don’t actually reduce stress. In fact, they often worsen it.
- Talk to someone. Whether to friends, family, a counselor or a support group, airing it out and talking can help.