Often when the end of the school year approaches, we look forward to summer break. What do we do when we feel this break is actually busier than the school year we just survived? Stress can always take a toll on the body and have physical effects to one’s health. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are common effects of stress to the physical body, mood, and behavior if not managed well. The table below outlines some of these effects:
Common Effects of Stress
Many of us suffer from various if not all of these factors all at once or at least multiple in a week’s time. Not only is it important to exercise to keep one’s body healthy, it is also important to keep one’s mind healthy. Time management can aid in lowering stress levels, which can be accomplished by goal setting, making lists, and accomplishing what is realistically possible for the day. When looking at a to do list, attempt choosing three items which have the highest priority to accomplish, and set the rest aside for completing once priority items are marked off.
In addition to time management, one can combat stress by engaging in regular physical activity. This can include various activities and does not have to only be cardio workouts. Remaining active at a level comfortable to the individual can work wonders on stress management. These can include taking daily walks, going for a run, practicing yoga, or a fun swim in the pool. Another important factor in stress management is to be sure to get plenty of sleep each night and develop a healthy sleep routine. Sleep is when our mind and body have time to recuperate from the day’s activities, and when our body can reset for the next day. Adults should on average get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Some individuals can function on less sleep, but it is still vital to maintain a sleep pattern for best performance day to day. If attempts have been made to manage stress levels with no signs of improvement, it would be beneficial to see a physician or therapist to assess various factors. It is most important to pay attention to the signs the body gives when it is under stress and to react accordingly.
For more information on physical activity, stress management, and healthy living, please contact the local TSET Healthy Living Program serving Payne County at 405.780.7309.
Lissette Minges is a TSET Healthy Living Program Prevention Specialist.