Many of us find ourselves working long days with high demands that cause us stress. Major life changes, relationship challenges, children and family, or financial concerns can also cause stress in our lives. Stress is simply the body’s natural response to these threats. Yet, when stress involves too many pressures that demand of you both physically and psychologically, it can become harmful. By knowing the symptoms of stress, you can listen to your body and learn some self-care techniques to reduce it.
Symptoms of stress may include:
• Memory problems
• Difficulty concentrating
• Muscle aches or pains
• Nausea, diarrhea or constipation
• Agitation or anxiety
• Feeling overwhelmed
• Impaired immune system
• Eating too much or too little
• Difficulty sleeping
There are many self-care options to help you cope with stress in your life. Starting with the basics of eating well, exercising three or more times a week, and getting a good night of sleep are essential. Gradually incorporating other techniques will then begin to increase your well-being. Try writing down three strengths about yourself. Try short breathing exercises that focus on the feeling of your chest rising and falling while taking deep breaths. Spend time with a family member or friend, volunteer for a cause, read a book, or spend time in nature.
Although you are not completely able to eliminate stress from your life, you can work on ways to help control it. When you practice self-care techniques on a daily basis, you can reduce your stress levels and increase your feelings of joy and serenity. Self-care is a necessary technique for all of us to make a part of our daily routine.
Lori Atkinson, Operations Director for The Kim Foundation
Lori Atkinson joined The Kim Foundation in May 2015. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in Middle Level Education. She was an 8th grade English teacher in the Omaha Public Schools from 1992 – 2000, a stay at home mom for several years, and then started a small non-profit in her husband’s memory during 2010. Lori carries out many duties for The Kim Foundation which includes: scheduling presentations in the community, hosting booths at conferences, managing the Art & Creative Writing Contest, coordinating the School Resource Fair, organizing the Suicide Prevention PSA Contest, assisting with the annual luncheon, and participating in the coalition’s community outreach group. Lori is the proud mom of three children and is actively involved in her church.