Unfortunately, stress is a common feeling in everyone’s lives. The American Institute of Stress found that 33% of people report feeling extreme stress, and 77% say that stress impacts their physical and mental health.
Whether your stress stems from work, home, relationships or all of the above, we’ve got tips to help you handle stress and start feeling peace in body, mind and spirit.
Handling Stress at Work
According to The American Institute of Stress, 80% of people feel stress at work. Certain factors tend to be the source of this stress and frustration. Common workplace stressors include:
- Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations
- Excessive workloads
- Few opportunities for growth or advancement
- Lack of social support
- Low salaries
- Not having enough control over job-related decisions
- Work that isn’t engaging or challenging
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, here are a few tips on handling and reducing that stress.
Even if organization isn’t your strongest skill, implementing some structure and order to your workday can help greatly reduce your stress at work. For example, plan your day in the evening before you go to bed, so you aren’t rushing to eat breakfast on your commute to work. Or declutter your office or desk to give you more room to be efficient with your work. Taking small steps to be more organized throughout your day will help reduce overwhelming feelings and help you feel more at peace with your day.
Be Clear on Requirements
The greatest cause of workplace stress is job burnout. Unclear requirements from employers lead to added frustration and greatly contribute to burnout. If you aren’t sure what is expected of you, talk with your supervisor and go over the expectations of your role. Also, discuss strategies you can take if you are on the verge of burnout to get the help you need.
Take a Walk During Lunch
Research has shown that walking promotes the release of brain chemicals called endorphins that stimulate relaxation and improve your mood. Take a 15-minute walk around your office building or at a nearby park and feel that stress melt away during your lunch break. You will see benefits in your mental and emotional health, but it will also benefit you physically as you move your body and stretch your muscles after sitting at a desk all morning.
Handling Stress at Home
If you leave work feeling overwhelmed and come home to a space that doesn’t help you unwind, it can add to the stress from your day. With these tips, you can make your home feel like an oasis again.
Create a Personal Space
Boundaries aren’t just important at work or with friends, but also in your home. If you need time to cool down after work before you start cooking dinner, let your partner know that you’re going to take a quick bath or sit outside on the porch.
Find a place in your home that allows you to clear your mind and relax. Taking a few moments of personal time to declutter your mind and slow your spirit is not selfish and allows you to refuel your tank so you can better care for your family.
Infuse Your Home With Calm
Your home’s physical surroundings are closely tied to your peace — and can add to your stress. Try decluttering and keeping essential things. A clean home creates space for new memories to be made and a sense of calm to flourish. Find ways to integrate calming materials and textures, plants and cool, calming colors in your home — all of which aid in creating a sense of peace.
Make Time for Fun
Sometimes our schedules keep us from being spontaneous or creating moments to relax and have fun with our family and friends. Find a way to incorporate simple activities between driving your child from school to soccer practice or working at your full-time job to your side gig. Pastimes like reading a book, playing with your pet or going out to dinner with your friends are simple ways to add some fun to your week and relieve stress.
Handling Stress in Your Relationship
Sometimes the stressors in our personal lives heighten the stress in our relationships with our friends, family and partners. Learning how to communicate and deal with conflict in relationships can help alleviate this stressor and bring back the sweet, loving feelings you have for each other. Here are some tips to reduce stress in your relationships.
Change the Scenery
During an argument, staying in one place can make you feel stuck in an eternal loop. Consider taking a walk and continue discussing your issues. By changing the scenery, you focus on something else and aren’t making direct eye contact, which can help deescalate the situation.
Ask for Help or How You Can Help
When you're stressed, the hardest thing to do is to step back and ask for help. Maybe you’re embarrassed to ask for help or don’t even know what kind of help you need. If you’ve felt like that, your loved ones have probably felt the same way.
Open the doorways of communication in your relationships and ask your partner, friends or family for help when you need it. And don’t forget to ask them how you can help them as well. Maybe the pile of dishes in the sink doesn’t bother you, but it may feel like an impossible, overwhelming task to your partner. Offer to help wash and put them away.
Or maybe having to get up earlier before work to put gas in the car is stressful. Ask a friend if they want to go for a drive with you to fill up your tank the night before. Helping and receiving help are great ways to alleviate stress and strengthen relationships.
Stop and Listen
Have you ever been in an argument with someone, and it feels like they aren’t listening to you but instead formulating their next defense? Maybe you’ve done that in the heat of the moment, too.
Just as you are frustrated, overwhelmed and stressed, your partner or friend may also be having these big, heavy feelings. Instead of treating the conflict like a competition that needs to be won, take time to really listen to what they are saying, put yourself in their shoes and aim to come up with solutions that help you both.
Extending Care for Your Behavioral Health
Whether you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, addiction or other behavioral health issues, our expert teams are here to offer treatments to help you feel like yourself again — from support groups or one-on-one therapy to advanced treatments and medication plans. Contact the Member Experience Center at 855-747-7476 to learn how we can help.