Mary Jarjour, American-Lebanese capacity builder, mother and fitness enthusiast focusing on learning and wellness, examines the impact of stress on our mental and physical wellbeing.
What is stress?
Why does it happen?
TOO MUCH PRESSURE?
Stress at Work
What not to do
These choices might feel good at first, but cause more problems later.
- Comfort eating: It feels good to eat when we’re hungry, but “comfort eating” is when we eat more to feel better when we’re stressed. Comfort eating hurts our health, especially when we eat extra fat or extra sugar (like candy, chips and other junk food). This can cause weight gain and other problems, especially true when we sit a lot at work.
- Smoking (including e-cigarettes and argileh): Smoking feels relaxing at first, but can cause other health problems, making it harder to deal with stress in the long run.
- Caffeine: energy from caffeine covers up the effects of bad sleep. Some people say it helps them focus. But, our bodies get used to caffeine quickly, and we need more to get the same effect. Lots of caffeine can lead to health problems, which make it even harder to manage stress.
What to do
Feeling overwhelmed? There are healthy ways to manage stress. These strategies can help.
- Breathing exercises take just a few minutes. You can do them from anywhere.
- Add more movement to your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk at a mall if it’s too hot outside, or YouTube a yoga video at home.
- Pray, meditate, or practice mindfulness
- Improve your sleep! This is a big one. Like junk food, regular “junk sleep” (not enough sleep or waking a lot due to noise) hurts our health. It can also make it harder to resist stress. Go to sleep and wake up at same time every day. Relax with music or read something happy before bed. Block out noise with earplugs from a pharmacy, or even better, a custom set from a hearing center.
Where does your stress come from? Which healthy coping strategy will you try first? Let us know in the comments below.