Everyone experiences times of stress and crisis. Most of the time, these periods of crisis are temporary. However, there are times where the stressors are ongoing, or the crisis is so severe that it overwhelms our normal coping mechanisms. If this stress persists, over time, it can lead to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other behavioral and mental health issues. Some of the most common issues that can cause a person to feel overwhelmed are:
- Death of a significant person in your life.
- Loss of job.
- Loss of marriage or significant relationship.
- Marital conflict or significant relationship problems.
- Birth of a child.
- Becoming the caretaker for an elderly parent or significant other.
- Relocation to a new school, job, city, etc.
- A traumatic event, such as a car accident, hurricane, or other tragedy.
- Injury or other physical health problems.
- Financial problems.
- An overwhelming workload at your job.
- Toxic work environment.
- Chronic illness.
- Living with an alcoholic or addict.
If you begin to feel overwhelmed, it is important to develop effective coping strategies to actively manage the stressors. Listed below are some tools to help.
- Pace yourself – During times of crisis, most people tend to “rise to the occasion”. They might put off taking care of themselves or make “heroic efforts” to help others. However, if the crisis is ongoing, you must take time for yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, who will?
- Take time to relax – If you don’t take time to relax, the body tends to wear down. To keep from feeling overwhelmed, take time to decompress.
- Exercise – Physical activity is a great way to manage stress.
- Avoid self-medication – Drugs and alcohol only mask the stress. Listen to your body and give it what it needs, instead of numbing it out.
- Get adequate sleep and rest – You have to take time to let the body recharge and recover.
- Balance work and play – Having fun rejuvenates us. Don’t take everything too seriously, take time to laugh and play.
- Let others help – If someone reaches out with love and affection, accept it. Don’t try to carry all of the burdens alone.
- Prioritize your time – Don’t over-schedule yourself. Allow time for breaks and fun.
- Update your expectations – Take an inventory of your expectations. Are all of them realistic? Let go of the unrealistic expectations so that you can begin to accept what is rather than look for what “should be”.
- Talk out your worries – Words are the best tool we have to manage emotions. The better you are at talking through your feelings, the better you will be at managing your stressors.
- Seek professional help – A trained therapist can help you develop tools to manage stress and provide you with a safe place to work through your issues.
New Dimensions Can Help!
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms or problems, New Dimensions can help. Our team of experienced therapists and psychiatrists can help you overcome these challenges and help you develop the skills you need to thrive. To schedule a complementary assessment or to find out more about our programs, contact us at 1-800-685-9796.
Our affiliate, MHThrive, provides Individual Therapy, Couples and Marriage Counseling, and Family Therapy at our locations in Katy, The Woodlands, and the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. We also provide telehealth therapy for anyone who resides within the State of Texas. To schedule an appointment with one of the MHThrive therapists, contact us at 713-477-0333 or visit www.mhthrive.com to learn more.