April Is Stress Awareness Month! 22 Strategies to Help you Combat STRESS!
Everyone feels and experiences stress at one time or another and at one level or another. We have learned over the years that excessive stress is a huge detriment to our health and our bodies. In order to help spread the word and increase understanding about how damaging and catastrophic stress can be, Stress Awareness month was born. It began in April of 1992 and has been recognized every April since.
Chronic stress and stress that occurs daily without reprieve is harmful to us. It can affect many things such as quality of sleep, weight, mood and depression, focus, mental clarity, contribute to pain, substance abuse, anxiety, heart attacks, chronic diseases, and the list goes on. All of this affects our daily lives, our quality of life, our work, the people we work with, play with and most of all the people we love. As our lives become increasingly busy and hectic with more and more demands placed on us, we must strategize to minimize the stress we experience.
Explore our 22 strategies to help you manage stress and enjoy life more.
- Manage your time. Little adjustments to your schedule can do wonders! Stop trying to beat the clock. Instead, become a planner. Understand when your work best and plan your errands to match the flow of your day.
- Explore yoga. Gentle exercises like yoga help to calm the mind and re-gain focus. Yoga can be helpful at the start of your day or as a great de-stressor towards the end of your day.
- Make time just for you. Enjoy baths? They are a great way to ease sore muscles and relax after a long day. Enhance your bath with essential oils or bath salts to get the best results from your soak. Remember, bring a glass of water with you to stay hydrated!
- Reconnect with what you love. Doing things you love is a huge stress reliever. If you have a fur baby at home you adore, decompress playing or cuddling with them. Re-engage with a favorite hobby to help reconnect with what makes you happy.
- Consider massage. Massage is an amazing stress eraser. Not only does it increase circulation but it helps soothe and relax tense muscles, improves range of motion in joints, and overall it lowers stress levels. Dry Aqua Massage is another way to enjoy the benefits of massage.
- Go for a walk. Take a break from what you are doing and get some fresh air. Even 10 minutes of activity and a change of scenery can help melt stress away and get you back on track.
- Master meditation. Guided meditation types involve focusing attention on a single object which could include the breath, an inner or external image, a movement pattern, a sound, a word or a phrase that is repeated silently (mantra). Based upon more than 30 years of scientific research as well as theoretical understanding, meditation is considered to be one of the better therapies for many stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain syndromes, chronic fatigue, lack of concentration, hypertension, headaches and much more. See a schedule of our classes HERE
- Adjust your diet. Eat more good for you foods to give your body a fighting chance against stress.
- Get more sleep. We all know how much better we feel after a good night’s sleep. Plan for sleep and create a pleasant, relaxing, quiet atmosphere to promote sleep.
- Declutter. Too many things to look through, trip over and work around causes stress. Aim for a clean desk and a decluttered workspace and living space to help you keep stress lower.
- Get Focused! Give essential oils a try! There is an oil for that! Check out something like THIS
- Exercise – Pilates. We offer clinical pilates at our Wellness Studio. Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. These days, Clinical Pilates is often used in conjunction with physiotherapy as a means of treating a variety of injuries, particularly those of the neck and back. Recent research advocates the retraining of the deep stabilizing muscles for patients with low back pain. Clinical Pilates focuses on the retraining and recruitment of these stabilizing muscles (core stability) as well as improving posture, strength and flexibility.
- Lighten up with laughter! Laughter is contagious and releases natural feel good hormones like endorphins. Endorphins may help reduce stress and relieve pain. Go ahead! Laugh!
- Learn something relaxing and new – Qigong. Embarking on a new form of exercise not only makes life interesting but exercises like Qigong have many benefits. Qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention. The slow gentle movements of Qigong forms can be easily adapted for the physically challenged and practiced by all age groups. It is based on the meridian system used in acupuncture, emphasizes the importance of adding mind intent and breathing techniques to physical movements. Western scientific research confirms that the gentle, rhythmic movements of Qigong improve cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive functions offering its practitioners the benefits of reduced stress and hypertension, increased stamina and enhanced immune system.
- Reflect on happiness – Spend some time daily to reflect on what makes you happy, then, write it down. Now that you have a list of what makes you happy and what you enjoy, do more of those things
- Discover Acupuncture. Acupuncture may release endorphins to help brighten your mood and alleviate stress. Curious about how it can help you minimize stress? Schedule a FREE consultation today to learn more.
- Appeal to your senses! Did you know a simple scent can help relax or rejuvenate? Keep scented lotions or essential oils with you at all time. There are many to help you unwind and relax or get focused and rejuvenated. Explore these essential oils HERE
- Stay positive. Sure, things go wrong but how you handle it will make the difference to your stress level. Do you tend to fly off the handle at the little things that cause an upset. Stop yourself in your tracks and do something to counter those feelings. See strategy #6.
- Help someone else. Being helpful tends to give a sense of accomplishment and makes you feel good about yourself. Even a little thing like helping someone in the office fix a paper jam in the printer or copier might just do the trick.
- Drink water. Fight stress from the inside out. Make sure your body is nourished and has what it needs to operate it’s best.
- Talk. Spend time with a friend and just talk. Connecting with people who make you feel good about yourself soothes the soul.
- Be good to yourself. Do things for yourself to help you relax. Does a good cup of naturally decaffeinated tea help you unwind at the end of a long day? Make it a nightly ritual to help you get the good night sleep you need.
There are many fun and natural ways you can minimize stress. Explore new and different ways to reduce stress in your life. Stop hurting and start living today!
Dr. Marie Perkins, OTR/L, LMT, DOM, Dipl. Ac. is one of the most recognized practitioners in Palm Harbor as a “non-pharmaceutical” pain specialist.
Born and raised in Quebec City Canada, Dr. Perkins received her Bachelor Degree in Occupational Therapy from University Laval in 1993.
Her passion led her to leave everything behind and immigrated to Florida in 1995. She proceeded with acquiring her Massage Therapy license from Bahkti Academy in 1999 and her Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine from the Florida Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2004.
Her goal for founding East West Healing Solutions was to be a pioneer in the community working at bridging the gap between Eastern and Western Medicine. She has established strong partnership with Medical Doctors, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurologists, Pain Management Physicians, Doctors of Chiropractic, Rehabilitative Specialists, Athletic Directors, Coaches and Personal Injury Attorneys in the community proving not only that it can be done but also that a cohesive team approach is often the most efficient way to help a patient.
“Over the years I have continued to add to my knowledge in order to be able to help as many patients I possibly could. Most of the time, a joint effort from Western and Eastern Medicine is required to obtain optimal health. For that reason, patients should proactively seek a team of highly trained professionals in various fields, all working toward one common goal; the PATIENT’S best interest. Your health portfolio should be built with the same concepts as your financial portfolio; diversification is the key!,” Dr. Marie Perkins tells her patients.
East West Healing Solutions is located at:
34876 US Highway 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL 34684