Two years into the pandemic, we are just starting to emerge from the other side. These times have been challenging for all. The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that nearly 8 in 10 adults (78%) say the pandemic is a significant source of stress in their life. And, 2 in 3 adults (67%) say they have experienced increased stress over the course of the pandemic. One thing we know for sure is that Americans are stressed!!!  

Stress takes a physical and mental toll. Learning to cope with our stress can be a challenge. It is crucial to find healthy ways to deal with stress. Some unhealthy coping skills can include: 

  • Disbelief or numbness which can be disassociation 
  • Difficulty concentrating  
  • Physical symptoms like back pains and stomach problems 
  • Using substances 

Here are some simple ways to reduce the stress in your life:  

  • Get Outside: Try going outdoors for a few minutes. Nature has many benefits including providing stress relief. You can walk around or even just sit in the sun for a few minutes. Enjoy the health benefits of nature!  
  • Visualization: Take some deep breaths to center yourself.  Envision yourself in a beautiful location, like a beach, the mountains, your home, or Disney World wherever makes you most happy. Imagine yourself being relaxed and at peace. Feel those emotions and relax as best you can. After 5 to 10 minutes rejoin whatever is going on around you.  
  • Journaling: Writing down your experiences is a way to release stress. It allows you to get outside of your head and see the whole picture. Writing can be a great stress relief 

Let us know in the comments your favorite ways to reduce stress!