Do you stay awake at night thinking about all the things you need to get done? Do you feel overwhelmed by endless tasks and demands on your time and energy? Are you on edge and easily irritated? While it may come as no surprise, if you answer a resounding yes to the above questions, you may be experiencing an increase in stress.
Stress is not necessarily harmful. Stress is actually just your mind and body’s natural reaction to challenges and potential dangers in your environment. With that said, having too much stress or experiencing stress for a lengthy period of time can cause harm to your health, happiness and overall well-being.
If you’re not sure whether you have excessive or unhealthy levels of stress, here are some symptoms to be on the lookout for – do you:
- Feel nervous or on edge?
- Feel overwhelmed or fatigued?
- Have problems concentrating or feeling motivated?
- Have trouble sleeping or sleeping too much?
- Experience changes in sex drive?
- Over or under-eat or experience stomach aches?
- Experience chronic headaches, muscle tension or illness?
- Feel irritable, restless or depressed
When stressed, you don’t make decisions as effectively as you normally would and you are not as productive, creative or efficient as you could be. You may rely on caffeine, alcohol, or other substances more than usual. You may find that you’re spending less time doing what you enjoy including spending quality time with friends and family. If left untreated, stress can lead to burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout typically happens gradually over time. You may not know that you’re headed for burnout until the exhaustion hits. Burnout causes you to feel unmotivated, listless, and apathetic. You may even feel depressed. Burnout exhaustion may cause you to feel like you don’t care about things or people as much as you have in the past.
Why is Reducing Stress and Burnout Important?
Stress and burnout can have very negative effects on your health, happiness and relationships with others. You may be at increased risk for depression and you will not be performing at your best either at home or at work/school. You are also more likely to put yourself at higher risk for medical illness.
What are the treatment options?
It may seem like those around you are “doing it all” and have their lives together, while you’re struggling alone and feeling utterly overwhelmed. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Stress and burnout can affect anyone. It is important that you seek help if you are under excessive stress, feel you may be burned out or are struggling to cope with your daily challenges. Below are some proven tips for reducing stress and optimizing well-being:
- Maintain a stable sleep schedule
- Take a brief “recess” during the day – watch a funny video, chat with a friend or take a walk
- Make sure you have at least an hour before bed to unwind from your day
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Try to do at least some form of exercise every day, even if it’s just taking a walk
- Try a mindfulness or meditation exercise
- Call a friend or family member…that you like J
- Stay connected to your social circle – avoid isolating yourself or burying yourself in work
- Volunteer with a local organization that is doing something you value (even just one hour a month can make a huge difference)
- Get organized – the less chaotic things feel the better able you’ll be to deal with stress
- Take a break from your “devices”
- Get creative – play some music, color a picture, paint a canvas – find whatever works for you
- Read a good book
- Watch a funny movie
- Spend time figuring out what you actually value and then reassess your time to make sure it is in line with those values
- Take a vacation – even just for a day or two
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Working with a qualified therapist to learn stress-reduction strategies that are tailored to you can make a huge difference.
These strategies will increase your quality of life, reduce stress, improve your physical health, enhance your overall performance and foster emotional well-being. The Clinic offers brief, effective and personalized solutions for reducing stress and optimizing your performance and well-being. Our team specializes in tailoring a stress reduction approach for each individual patient. Following a thorough assessment, we provide practical strategies that work. You can experience a reduction in stress levels after only a few sessions.
Our experts at The Clinic also provide treatment for a variety of other emotional, behavioral and mental issues including:
- Panic Attacks / Panic Disorder
- Attention Problems
- Sleep Problems
- Weight Loss
- Sexual Health Problems
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Bipolar Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Anxiety
- Specific Phobias
- Substance Abuse
- Life Transition
- Relationship Conflict