Handling Stress in a Healthy Way
On Those Days When You Want to Scream and Run Away
by Joanne Troppello
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. – Lee Iacoca
Have you ever felt like you needed a mental health day? You know when your life has become so stressful you just want to drop everything and run away to some deserted island and try to relieve your stress.
However, with busy schedules—full-time jobs, second jobs, family commitments, and other obligations—life can be extremely stressful. With too much stress in your life, you may not realize the harm stress can do to your body: physically, emotionally and spiritually.
So, how do you manage stress in your life? Should you feel guilty if you need to take that mental health day?
Finding a Work Life Balance
If you cannot find a balance between work and relaxation time, then you’ll have more difficulty with handling the daily life stressors. More than half of all Americans ages 18 - 49, experience daily stress and sleep deprivation.
According to Dictionary.com, stress is a “force that strains; mental or physical tension; urgency or pressure causing this.”
So many different issues can weigh you down each day. To begin dealing with these issues, you must first find the origin of your stress. To fully identify the issues and how to solve the problems, you need to ascertain where the specific stressors originated from. Otherwise, stress will continue to overwhelm you.
Take a Time Out
As a child, my mom used to put me or my siblings in time out when we misbehaved. We did not like that one bit. Yet, as an adult, a time out can become an oasis in the desert of daily stresses.
One way to alleviate stress in your life, is to take a time out—even if you have to allot a slot on your calendar each week for you to have some true relaxation time. You may not have time in your busy schedule to relax. However, if you don’t allow yourself to have that me time, you won’t have time (or the emotional and intellectual capacity) to help anyone in your life.
Count to Ten
If you’re in the midst of a stressful situation and feel like you’re ready to explode in anger at any moment, try to count to ten. Doing that can help you to take a breath and respond maturely to the situation or individual, rather than react immaturely.
Find that Me Time
If you have some favorite instrumental or other relaxing music, bring your iPod, mp3 player, or other listening device with you and listen as you take a walk during your lunch hour. Find a relaxation buddy—someone who is either dealing with similar stress issues now or was in the past or can simply lend a listening ear.
Take a lunch break with this buddy sometimes and share what you’re going through. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings with a trusted friend. Venting your feelings can go a long way towards helping you relieve your daily stress and create a better environment for yourself.
If you work from home or are retired, consider going for a walk in the neighborhood or go to the park and enjoy calm and relaxation.
Pray and Read the Bible
One of the main ways I relax is to pray and read the Bible. I was dealing with an extremely stressful situation today and went into my bedroom to read the Bible. After reading some passages, I started praying and ended my time praising God—knowing that He has control of the situation and heard my heart’s cry.
How do you handle stress?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.