Just because life has thrown some challenges your way doesn’t mean you have to let them get you down. With the right coping strategy, you can learn to cope with the mental health struggles like stress, anxiety and depression.
Recognize the Symptoms of Stress
Stress affects people in different ways. Some of the most common symptoms include irritability, restless sleep, lack of motivation, feelings of sadness and having trouble concentrating. If you have any of these symptoms, try to identify the root cause of the stress. Once you’re able to recognize there’s a problem, you can start getting help.
Develop a Routine
The pandemic stopped people’s schedules in their tracks. Suddenly people were expected to work and homeschool at the same time, in the same room. Now that schools and workplaces have returned to in person, it’s time to get back on a schedule. Schedules ease stress because they’re predictable and controllable.
Get Out and Get Exercise
Nature and movement improve mood and reduce stress. Now that the days are getting longer, spend some time outside each day. The sunshine, fresh air and a little bit of exercise will do wonders. Take a walk at lunch or after school/work. Exercise produces endorphins which are the chemicals in the brain that boost your mood.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is the body’s way of hitting the reset button. Unfortunately, people who are under extreme amounts of stress or feel depressed often can’t sleep. Developing a sleep routine will help. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid caffeine and sugar before bed. Don’t use your phone or watch TV 30 minutes before bedtime because the blue light can disrupt sleep patterns.
If you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to seek help. There are a lot of options for professional resources like hotlines and counseling. We respond to the behavioral health needs of Alaska’s children, teens and their families. You can reach us at (907) 789-7610.