In a recent Culture Club video, we discussed the importance of mental health. With all that we’ve gone through over the past few years, there is a renewed (and long overdue) focus on just how important our mental well-being is to our overall health.
Stress and anxiety are a part of everyday life, and always will be. But they will take a serious toll – without fail – if given enough time and not managed effectively. When we recognize and confront the stress in our lives, we feel empowered to overcome challenges and significantly reduce anxiety.
April is “Stress Awareness Month,” and I thought it would be a good time to revisit the topic and share a few of the most effective and simple ways to help manage stress:
Don’t make unneeded changes in your life.
Instead, save what energy you have for dealing with the major stressor at hand. If possible, try to make your work and home environments stable while working out the main problem.
Commit to a reasonable way to deal with what is causing you stress. Action is powerful in helping you to reduce stress. Studies show that your body lowers the amount of a powerful stress hormone (epinephrine) when you shift into action. Don’t stop taking action because you’re afraid you’ll make the wrong decision. There are many ways to successfully handle a stressful situation.
Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
A healthy, well-balanced diet and exercise can keep your body fit and able to fight disease. Exercise also is an excellent way to lift your mood.
Talk about your stressful situations with someone you trust.
This can be a partner, a close friend, or (ideally) a professional counselor. Sometimes just talking about your problems and concerns can help you put them into perspective. It can also give you insights into ways to deal with them.
Stay organized to help manage your time more efficiently.
Think about making a daily list of things that need to be done, with the most important item first on the list.
Remember, no one can do it all alone.
Ask for help. Get professional help if you need it.
Use relaxation methods to calm your mind.
Take a break.
Go for a walk, close your eyes, and sit quietly for 10 minutes – or go outside for some fresh air, no matter the weather.
Get enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause additional physical and emotional problems, such as drowsiness, memory problems, and trouble concentrating.
Avoid alcohol and drugs.
Far from helping you cope, these can actually make symptoms worse.
In closing, I want to remind everyone that one of the most valuable benefits of being an LHC Group employee is our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Among other benefits, our EAP provides three free visits to a professional licensed counselor in your area for you or your family. I encourage you to look further into this resource if you feel it could be of benefit.
It’s important to identify and confront the stressors in our lives, and to seek professional help when needed – for the for the sake of your patients, your teammates, your family, and, most importantly, yourself.
LHC Group is committed to delivering a higher standard of care. For us, it’s all about helping people. To find out more, please visit lhcgroup.com.