By Rachel Wilcinot, DO, of Avera Medical Group Sibley & Osceola Regional Health Center
Stress. Even reading the word seems to produce stress. Most often when we think of stress, we think of the bad – deadlines, headaches, worry – and we tend to forget that stress can also be for good. Added stress can help us study just a bit harder to get the better grade, and it can give us that extra push to finally complete a project or call that person we have been avoiding. Whether the good or bad kind, how can we be sure we endure our stress and come through it a better, more rounded and wise person?
First off, in order to handle stress, we need to make sure we get regular, adequate sleep. Adults should strive for at least 8 hours of sleep a night. And it sounds cliché, but a healthy diet will help us handle stress better as our mind and body will feel more energized and capable. Along those same lines, exercise helps us to handle and even reduce stress by releasing our “happy hormone”.
It is also important to realize that we often CAN control what stressors come our way. If going out with friends on Friday night will cause more stress because you won’t have time to complete a needed task, then don’t go out that Friday night. If putting your child in soccer is going to cause issues with time, transportation, and family, maybe you need to really consider whether your child needs to be in soccer this year. It is ok to say “no” sometimes.
So, remember stress can be good or bad, and sometimes we can even control what stressors are allowed into our lives. With sleep and a healthy lifestyle, we will be able to make it through our stress and come out from it better than before.