HCN News & Notes

Keep Stress in Check During Stress Awareness Month — and Every Month

HOLYOKE — April is Stress Awareness Month, and MiraVista Behavioral Health Center is observing the month by encouraging the community to be aware when pressures of daily life begin to interfere with daily routines, including sleeping and eating.

Short-term therapy can often lead to better understanding of thoughts and feelings related to stress and provide ways to better manage it. Constant stress can seriously impact mental, behavioral, and physical health, which for some may lead to the need for inpatient acute treatment.

The following tips can help individuals build resilience into daily life and better manage stress.

• Make self-care a priority, including getting enough rest and eating healthy meals;

• Take a break from social media to give yourself a mental and physical break from constant updates, notifications, and even world events;

• Engage in regular physical exercise that you enjoy;

• Have a network of trusted family, friends, and healthcare professionals you are comfortable talking with for support;

• Know when you need help and avoid relying on drugs and alcohol to cope, as they can ultimately add to additional health issues;

• Practice mindfulness through meditation, deep-breathing exercises, or simply paying attention to your thoughts and emotions without reacting to them;

• Sleep plays a crucial role in managing stress. Make sure to get enough restful sleep each night to allow your body and mind to recover and rejuvenate; and

• Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, which can help support your physical and mental health, which in turn can help you better manage stress. Visit miravistabhc.care for MiraVista’s “Eating for Good Mental Health” resource.

Everyone’s stress-management techniques may differ, so it’s important to find what works best for you. Make it a habit to incorporate stress-reducing strategies into your daily routine to promote a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.