by Gary Schreiner, PhD
Can you believe it? A deadly virus sweeping through our country, fires ravaging our local environment, smoke filling our valleys and on top of all the natural occurrences, distance learning and new schedules for teaching our children at school or at home. Many of us also worry about if we will have a job or enough money to pay the bills. How many times have you said, “I can’t take any more of this!”
Believe it when I say, “You can.” Here are a few helpful hints to help you survive the stress.
- Learn to control what you can and give up what you can’t. Let some things go in your life that aren’t “required.” For example, do you really have to paint your garage door this week? Do you have to fix that dent in your bumper? Do your clothes have to be ironed? (You get the picture). If you let some things go, you can focus on more important tasks.
- Don’t take on anything new. That class you wanted to take can wait. Volunteering at the animal shelter can also wait and the animals will be there later (unless this is a good stress relief for you). Coaching your son’s or daughter’s team may have to wait until next year. Do you really have to rake up those leaves now?
- Take a break from watching the news and social media or any other source of anger or frustration. If you choose to stay engaged on social media, try to understand where people are coming from in their beliefs. Understanding doesn’t mean you have to agree, but it means you won’t get so perturbed about a person’s beliefs.
- Spend time on self-care. This could be anything that helps you unwind. Go for a walk or bike ride, take a hot bath, meditate by the river, enjoy the flowers in your garden or whatever puts you at peace. Think about what or for whom you are grateful. Consider showing your appreciation for someone, for any reason.
- Avoid short-term indulgences. Drinking alcohol, using drugs, or over-indulging in food will make you feel good only for a short amount of time.
- Follow this link for some more strategies to help with stress and anxiety: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201503/50-strategies-beat-anxiety.
We are here for you during this stressful time. We have 15 behavioral health providers, many of whom are bilingual speaking English and Spanish. We have clinics in Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, and Edwards, in addition to our school-based health centers in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, and Avon. We can help with individual, marital, and/or family issues too.
Please schedule an appointment by calling 970-945-2840 or visit us at www.mountainfamily.org. We look forward to caring for you and your family.