Tips for Handling Stress

Stress | Stress Reduction | Psychology 

Life got you stressed out? This post is a non-comprehensive tip list of a few things you can do to reduce stress besides zoning out on your couch in front of the television. Photo by Pixabay, free for commercial use.

Stressed out?

It’s not even the “triad” of holidays (Thanksgiving Day, Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza, or New Year’s Day), and the signs of stress already abound. Twitter has turned into a squawking citizen’s megaphone, a way to complain to the faceless masses out there on the Internets about a personal offense, poor customer service, or social injustice, all at equal volume.

Social Media feeds are exploding and imploding, with some taking to their feeds to tell their friends and family that they are overwhelmed, discouraged, or angry, while others slink away quietly, all but shuttering their accounts.

While therapists are not advice givers, I thought that it might be helpful to share just a few stress-reducing behaviors that can help you if you’re feeling frazzled and exhausted.

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Talking about Suicide

Suicide | Suicide Prevention |Talking about Suicide
Black and white background, man with head in his hands, crying
We need to talk openly and honestly about suicide. Please check your triggers before reading this post. Image by Pixabay, free for commercial use image.

The real truth about suicide is not that suicide rates are on the rise, but that it has been rising for some time now.  If people did not notice before, they are paying attention now.

With the recent deaths by suicide of American designer Kate Spade and celebrity chef and culture journalist Anthony Bourdain, Social Media is gawking about why such apparently successful people would take their lives. Did they struggle with depression? Were there clues and signs given? And perhaps more important to those who live in fear that their loved ones will choose to take their own lives, could these suicides have been prevented?

Because I believe in honest and non-judgmental talk about suicide, the following post is a balance between understanding the statistics around the 10th highest cause of death in the United States, the care that providers are bound to give by license, and the personal experiences of this therapist, with any incidences or persons anonymized and depersonalized to protect the privacy of others.

Please check  your own triggers before reading the rest of this post.

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Adapting To The Unexpected

If I had run here instead of on a trail closer to home, I wouldn’t have an infected dog bite. Life’s unexpected moments happen. Are you prepared to handle them? Photo credit: Imei Hsu, iPhone 7 Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergencies | Unexpected Events | Assessment |Anxiety

The morning sunlight hit the red-tinged leaves that signal Fall’s inevitable approach. Trail running along one of the paths nearby my home, I listened to the sound of my footfalls and my breath cycle, deeply immersed in the joy of running.

After the first fifteen minutes or so,  the effort of running changes from the initial discomfort of ramping up the pace from a standstill to the zen-like quality of meditation in motion.  Running has often been a place of solace and rejuvenation for me, a place to deposit myself before I return to the real world: responding to crisis and employing my skills and attention to the privilege of helping others.

As I began to run up a short embankment with a neighborhood access point to a street, I passed a dog owner walking three dogs. As it is my custom, if a dog is not on a tight leash, I give dogs a very wide berth to avoid startling them or giving them reason to attack. As I moved far to the right of the owner and the dogs, the dog furthest on the dog owner’s right lunged towards the back of my leg and bit me.

After the owner saw blood running down my leg, the dog owner asked if I needed her help: a ride home, bandages, etc. My first response was to tell her I would just walk home, that I was “OK” but it hurt, that I only had five more miles to go.

But that was ridiculous. The wounds  gaped, the torn fascia hung outside of the broken skin, blood was filling my shoe, and the pain was so bad that tears were involuntarily shedding and rolling down my face. I sat down on a rock nearby, and then told the dog owner that I needed a ride home to pick up my car and my ID for the Urgent Care facility nearest to me.

I needed  help. And I needed to be flexible to handle the very real emergency that had just occurred.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you find if difficult to ask for and receive help, even when it is clearly needed? Do you find yourself frozen or rigid, trying to keep to a schedule or a plan instead of adapting to the circumstances you find yourself in during an unexpected moment.

Read on for what you can do when you encounter the unexpected. Continue reading “Adapting To The Unexpected”