Submitted by Sherry Longcor, Transition Coordinator
Everyone experiences stress. There is no way to eliminate stress; however, there are ways to cope with it, and techniques to use to better cope with the impact stress has on a person.
The first thing that helps me is to stay aware of the warnings my body provides (i.e. frequent headaches, upset stomach, poor quality of sleep, feeling overemotional, becoming more forgetful, and increase in joint pain). When I begin to feel these patterns, I know it is time for me to slow down and take care of myself. It helps me to remember that negative things coming towards me are not about me. It helps me when I am realistic about my abilities and my disabilities. It helps me when I remind myself that other people do not have to understand me.
After I become aware that I’m beginning to feel very stressed and I remind myself of what is mine to carry and what is not mine to carry, I’m able to slow down and begin to take care of myself. I am better able to organize my thoughts and determine what my true responsibilities are and I realize my emotions are directly connected to the amount of stress I am feeling. I try to remember that stress is an internal thing that others may not be aware you are feeling and to what degree you are feeling it. I am then able to be more effective in completing my tasks and keeping up with my responsibilities. I find it helpful to write down a complete list of the things that I must do in order of importance. When writing a list, I try to remain mindful of other people’s need for my time. I believe this is of key importance as we interact in our work life, our home life, and in our social life.
After I have made my lists, completed my tasks, and fulfilled my responsibilities, I begin to focus on how I can let go of the stress that has built up in my body. There are many ways people find to relax. For me, I like to talk it out with a caring friend or family member, or to take a warm bath and put on my softest clothes, or feed myself healthy food. I also like to take some time alone with myself to think about how I can do my job better the next time. The true beauty of being human as we can always set a goal for ourselves to do better the next time.
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If you are a person with a disability and are interested in setting goals to work on dealing with your stress, give PACE a call today!
Visit us again next week for more from the PACE Staff!