No one is immune to stress; it’s part of our everyday lives. Some stress is completely normal, and in many cases, that positive stress can help us finish a project or tackle an unexpected challenge. But, when does stress become abnormal, and when should you be concerned?
Kristin Smith, a licensed counselor at Parkridge Valley Hospitals, says rising prices of everyday items, supply chain issues and global uncertainty are adding to the stress we already face on a daily basis. “As stress increases, it can cause unwanted physical and societal manifestations,” Smith says. “Stress can start to affect job performance, our relationships and mental well-being.” It can also affect us physically and cause reflux disease, hypertension and increased headaches.
There are many ways that people can reduce stress, but Smith says it’s important to find a coping strategy that works for you. This could be finding a happy work/life balance, taking breaks from news and social media, planning schedules ahead of time, budgeting finances and setting limits on relationships during stressful times, like the holidays. Smith also shared the following tips to help minimize stress on a daily basis:
- Adopt healthier habits: Drink more water and less caffeine and alcoholic beverages. Eat Healthy meals.
- Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
- Stay active: Exercise daily through walking, biking or a yoga class.
- Take time for yourself: Relax with a hot bath, journaling or meditation.
- Utilize your support system: Talk it out with friends, family and coworkers. And remember to laugh more!
If everyday stress becomes too much and starts to prevent you from doing everyday activities, Smith says that it may be time to reach out to your primary care physician. “While we want to minimize stress, we also want people to understand that it is okay to seek help through your primary care physician, a therapist or other community resources if you are feeling excessive fear, worrying or hopelessness,” says Smith. “It’s okay to not be okay, and we want you to know that you are not alone.”
Parkridge Health has a variety of mental health programs including extensive outpatient services for adults and adolescents looking for a structured program that includes group therapy, coping techniques and healthy communication. Parkridge Health offers mental health services for adults and children/adolescents with locations in Chattanooga, Cleveland and Jasper. To learn more information or to use our convenient online scheduling, please see a list of locations below. In addition, help is always available through our 24-hour helpline at (423) 299-2300.
Parkridge Valley Adult & Senior Campus
7351 Courage Way
Parkridge Valley Cleveland Outpatient Program
1855 Executive Park Dr. NW
Parkridge Valley Child & Adolescent Campus
2200 Morris Hill Road
Parkridge Valley West
1000 Tennessee 28