All Posts in Category: Stress management

Group therapy developing new methods of coping with stress, anxiety, and depression

Personal Exploration Group
Group therapy developing new methods of coping with stress, anxiety, and depression

With Nicolette Mireles, LCPC, Thursdays at 6 PM at IPD Romeoville.
Personal Exploration Group. This open process group will assist you in:

-increasing understanding of yourself

-decreasing sense of isolation

-gaining new perspectives on concerns

-developing new methods of coping with stress, anxiety, and depression

IPD Romeoville
1239 Windham Parkway
Romeoville IL 60446

Contact the IPD intake department at (815) 942-6323 or see a front desk associate

Cost: Covered by most insurance plans.
We also offer affordable self-pay rates

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Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a stressful time for many people due to the intensified focus on family, work and money, but this added stress is felt more by women. In a recent survey on holiday stress, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that women are more likely than men to report heightened stress levels during the holiday season, and that they’re less likely to take time to relax or manage that stress in healthy ways.

Research shows that stress, and the unhealthy behaviors people use to manage it, contribute to some of our country’s biggest health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s imperative that people take steps to address issues like holiday stress in healthier ways. According to psychologist and APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Dr. Russ Newman, people who manage stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, drinking and smoking are likely to have their physical health negatively affected over time, as opposed to people with a healthy lifestyle.

‘My advice is to pay attention to what causes stress and to find healthy ways to manage it,’ says Newman. Everyone responds to their stress in some way. The key is handling stress in a manner that doesn’t make things worse.

APA recommends these tips to help deal with holiday stressors and build resilience:

Define holiday stress – How do you experience stress? Does that experience change during the holidays? Different people experience stress differently. How do you know when you are stressed?

Identify holiday stressors – What holiday events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Are they related to work, home, relationships or something else?

Recognize how you deal with stress – Determine if you are relying on unhealthy behaviors like smoking or eating to manage stress. Is this a behavior you rely on year-round, or is it specific to holiday stress?

Change one behavior at a time
– Unhealthy behaviors develop over the course of time. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time. Start small and focus on changing one behavior.

Take care of yourself – Taking care of yourself during the holiday season helps to keep your mind and body primed to deal with stress. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in holiday activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep.

Ask for support – Accepting help from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens your resilience and ability to manage stress. Use the holidays as a time to reconnect with friends and family and strengthen your support network. If you feel overwhelmed by stress, then consider seeking professional help. Psychologists are uniquely trained to understand the connection between the mind and body. They can offer strategies to help you manage stress, change unhealthy behaviors and address emotional issues.

The American Psychological Association

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Being Supermom Stressing You Out?

Mothers are the world’s best jugglers: family, work, money they seem to do it all. However, all that responsibility can often leave moms feeling overstretched and stressed out. According to a 2006 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), women are more affected by stress than men and report engaging in unhealthy behaviors such as comfort eating, poor diet choices, smoking, and inactivity to help deal with stress. The same survey showed women report feeling the effects of stress on their physical health more than men. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it’s a good time for moms and their families to recognize the importance of addressing stress and managing it in healthy ways.

‘How a mother manages stress is often a model for the rest of the family,’ says APA psychologist Lynn Bufka, Ph.D. ‘Other family members will imitate her unhealthy behavior.’

Women are also more likely to take on the high-anxiety role of health care manager for the family. APA 2006 survey results indicate that stress is higher among family health care decision makers-17 percent of people who report being the primary health care decision makers are very concerned about stress versus 11 percent of those whose spouse or partner takes care of these matters and that women disproportionately serve that role for their families (73 percent versus 40 percent of men).

‘It’s particularly stressful to be the family’s health manager, making health care decisions for yourself, your children, and possibly aging parents,’ says Bufka. People who handle stress in unhealthy ways may alleviate symptoms of stress in the short term, but end up creating significant health problems over time, and, ironically, more stress.

APA offers these strategies to help mothers manage stress:

“Understand how you experience stress” Everyone experiences stress differently. How do you know when you are stressed? How are your thoughts or behaviors different from times when you do not feel stressed?

“Identify stressors” What events or situations trigger stressful feelings? Are they related to your children, family health, financial decisions, work, relationships or something else?

“Recognize how you deal with stress” Determine if you are using unhealthy behaviors to cope with the stress of motherhood. Is this a routine behavior, or is it specific to certain events or situations? Do you make unhealthy choices as a result of feeling rushed and overwhelmed, such as stopping for fast food while running errands or picking up your kids? Put things in perspective make time for what’s really important. Prioritize and delegate responsibilities. Identify ways your family and friends can lessen your load so that you can take a break. Delay or say no to less important tasks.

“Find healthy ways to manage stress” Consider healthy, stress- reducing activities – taking a short walk, exercising, or talking things out with friends or family. Keep in mind that unhealthy behaviors develop over time and can be difficult to change. Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on changing only one behavior at a time.

“Ask for professional support” Accepting help from supportive friends and family can improve your ability to persevere during stressful times. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist who can help you manage stress and change unhealthy behaviors.

Mothers often put their family needs first and neglect their own, says Bufka. It’s okay to relax your standards – don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to have the ‘perfect’ house or be the ‘perfect’ mother. No one expects you to be Superwoman.

by: APA

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