2020 has been one of the more stressful years for many. With the recent pandemic caused by coronavirus, many are finding it difficult to cope with the sudden onslaught of changes to daily living. More often than not, dealing with stress is put on the back burner or, in general, people are not quite sure how to deal with it. It is, however, incredibly important to learn how to manage stress because it can affect our performance and relationships at work and home.
Causes of Stress
Stress usually occurs when there are changes in our lives and when we are not adequately able to deal with the changes and demands. Stress can occur not only from a negative life experience, but from positive ones as well. It is important to note that everyone handles stress differently, but it can manifest in many different physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms include upset stomach, fatigue, tight neck muscles, irritability and headaches. How one chooses to react to the stress can vary by eating too much, drinking too much, losing sleep or smoking. Stress also makes you more susceptible to illness, including the common cold and ulcers.
The first step to managing stress is to identify your “stressors”; those things that are making you react. Stressors may not only be events that cause you to feel sad, frightened, anxious or happy. You can cause stress through your thoughts, feelings and expectations. Look at the list below. Which cause you stress? Can you think of other stressors?
- Not enough time
- Unexpected changes
- Family problems
- Extra responsibility
- Personality clashes
- Money difficulties
With this in mind, here are some tips to help manage your stress going forward:
Acceptance– Many of us worry about things we have no control over. One way to manage stress is to accept when things are beyond your control.
Attitude– Try and focus on the positive side of situations, as difficult as it may be. Solutions will tend to come easier when you focus on these silver linings.
Perspective– As with worrying about things we cannot control. We also tend to worry about things that may never happen. Keep things in perspective by asking yourself “How important is this situation? Will I even remember it happened in five years?”
It is important to think about situations in your life that cause you stress. Are they important or unimportant? Are they controllable or uncontrollable circumstances? If you can control the events, you can take action to change the situation. If they are the ladder, you can use your skills in acceptance, attitude and perspective to reduce the stress.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful as we continue to navigate 2020 going forward.