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Health tip for November – Stress

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“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

By Mary Ircink, parish nurse

The holiday season is beginning and being able to manage stress is important in our life. How can we take care of ourselves when there are so many expectations for favorite meals, pretty decorations, festive celebrations, travel to destinations, the perfect gift, etc.?

Positive ways to deal with stress always highlight the following:
-Maintain a healthy balanced diet. Avoid caffeine.
-Exercise regularly; take a brisk walk in fresh air and sunlight as much as possible.
-Get plenty of sleep. Naps can be good!
-Practice relaxation techniques. Slow deep breaths, listen to relaxation tapes, meditate, pray.
-Use positive affirmations. Choose things you love to do. Forget about perfection.
-Develop a support system. It’s helpful to learn that one is not alone in feeling stress.
-Pace yourself. Listen to your body’s signals. Allow extra time for projects or eliminate a few.
-Simplify your life. Scale down the number of cards sent, decorations used or cookies baked.

Seek professional help if you need it. If feelings of anxiety, sadness and lack of energy or changes in life routines such as sleeping, eating or working continue to cause more stress and last for several weeks, professional help may be needed. Check with your private physician.