Four Ways to Handle Extreme Stress with Grace

6by Christina Lattimore

“There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether to let it affect you or not.”  Valerie Bertinelli

  • Stress increases the risk of a heart attack by 25%.
  • Stress increases the risk of heart disease by 40%
  • Stress increases the risk of a stroke by 50%

1 in 5 Americans experience “Extreme Stress” and the symptoms include shaking, palpitations and depression.  Will you be that 1?  Are you that one?  April is Stress Awareness month, and the statics above along with other stress-related information can be found on www.stress.org.

It is fair to say that we all experience stress because, well life can be stressful.  But do you know when you are stressed out?  Do you know when your body is telling you it needs a time-out?  According to WebMD some of the symptoms of stress are:

-Easily agitated and frustrated.  Feeling overwhelmed or like you have lost control.

-Feeling overwhelmed or like you have lost control.

-Chest pains and rapid heartbeat.

-Forgetfulness and disorganization.

-Low energy, headaches, and insomnia.

Spring is here and it is the perfect time to focus on ourselves!  Why now??  The stress of the holidays has passed, the weather is warming up and we have planned (or will plan) our vacation, or in my case “staycation”-don’t wait until then to destress!!  Start now with these tips:

Check-in with your support system!

No matter if your support system consist of family, friends, co-workers or schoolmates check-in with them and check on them!  The support system doesn’t mind hearing us vent or being the shoulder we need to lean on.  Also, this is the perfect time to check on them.  Being able to help or support others often takes our focus off of our own problems.  Remember a support system must be maintained!

Increase (or Create) your Social Network!

I have lived in 4 states over the past 10 years, I have learned the importance of increasing or creating your social network.  As we get older, it seems that it is more difficult to meet new people and thus make new friends.  A great way to meet new people, even if you aren’t new to the area is with MeetUp. Whatever your interest is,

there is a good chance there is a group for it, if not create it! I found fun groups in New Jersey and in Atlanta and it made me swap my Netflix night for a night out!

Pick-up a Hobby or Take a Class

No matter how hectic our lives are, we have to take time for ourselves.  MAKE time for yourself! Explore an interest or take a class to learn something new!  Check Groupon for deals on sewing or jewelry making classes.  Look up your local community college and see what summer classes are being offered.  You can often find classes on cooking, writing, and even professional development.  The goal is to do something YOU want to do!

Get Outside!!

Go for a jog, walk, or even just go sit outside in the sunshine!  Even if you suffer from allergies like I do, the fresh air and sunshine, even for just a short period will help ease the stress of the day.  When you go out with your friends or family, opt for the outdoor seating or look specifically for outdoor activities!  Do your town have nice parks or hiking trails, Spring is the perfect time to explore them before the summer heat sets in!

[info_box type=”alert_box”]Caring for yourself including takes care of your finances.  I encourage all ladies who are serious about self-care to go on The Happy Finances Challenge. In 42 days you can learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness. [/info_box]

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