April 2, 2022

When Meditation Stops Helping

Does stigma, stress, or a sense of personal responsibility keep you from reaching out to get the stress support you need? Have you tried things like prioritizing your schedule or meditation, but still left with an impending sense of doom about things going on at work or home? Here’s how to take the next step when your stress relief tips stop working.

Society dictates stress response 

There’s a body of evidence that indicates that women and men respond to stress differently. While women are likely to seek the support of trusted friends or colleagues, men often feel trapped by the expectation of self-sufficiency. 

Men may feel more pressure to handle their stress on their own with less access to stress management tools. Ironically, this is more likely to cause an impact on their quality of life because they’re not being given the opportunity to access everyday steps to lower stress. Meanwhile, women feel they’re able to openly communicate stress but often do not have the chance to engage in stress relief activities or habits. 

No matter what’s got you feeling like you just can’t cope, we’re here to help. We’ve got stress management tools of every size and shape to support you now when your own tools are no longer working. 

Say “no” and mean it

Having a healthy relationship with boundaries is one of the most valuable stress management tools you can prioritize in your life. Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lower stress at work, home or on the commute in between, your boundaries can help you make real strides in doing so. 

Spend some time looking at the things that take up space and add pressure to your life. When you look at those things, do you see some that you participate in because you feel like you should? Even if you don’t have to or don’t want to? Establishing and respecting your own boundaries is self-care that directly contributes to lower stress levels. 

Set realistic expectations 

If you constantly feel like there’s more to do than there are hours in the day, you are not alone. More than 70% of American adults are feeling overwhelmed by the daily pressures of life. 

Try using a time tracker to get a realistic picture of how you spend your time each day. You can use an app on your phone or a more dedicated time tracking tool to figure out how long you spend doing tasks so that you can optimize your time without putting too much pressure on yourself to do more than is realistically possible. 

When you’re doing this, though, make sure you work in time for the next item on this list because without making space for relaxation, no expectation will be realistic in the long term. 

Prioritize your hobbies

Make the things you enjoy a non-negotiable part of your schedule. It’s as simple and complicated as that. When you spend time doing the things that make you feel fulfilled and empowered, you will see less stress and more energy in other arenas of your life. 

This becomes a struggle when you feel guilty or struggle to find the energy to engage in those hobbies. Consider using the expectations you set and a schedule to help you stay on track for stress management by setting aside time for your hobbies just like you would for an important meeting.

.. and your health 

The less fun side of stress management is rooted in negating the risks high stress levels present to your physical health. While moving your body through exercise is important, there’s also an element of stress management to doing mundane tasks like drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet. 

Schedule your annual physical and don’t avoid any lingering health concerns that weigh on your mind. Caring for your physical body is an empowering way to take charge of your stress and your wellbeing. 

A few 5-minute fixes you can do right now 

These stress management tools aren’t long-term solutions, but they can be the building blocks that help you create them. There are everyday steps you can take to lower stress in the now. Developing a regular practice of these things alongside more formal stress relief is the key to changing your overall stress levels for the better. 

guy holding a puppy

Here are some things you can do right now without adding expense- in money or time. They’re immediate release pick-me-ups you can do right now, no training or tools required! 

  • Listen to a song (or playlist!) you love 
  • Re-watch an episode of a familiar show 
  • Cuddle your pet 
  • Go for a short walk 
  • Make a mental gratitude list 
  • Hug someone you love 
  • Color or draw something 
  • Light a candle 
  • Make a cup of coffee or tea 

While many of these everyday steps to lower stress levels are things that can help, they’re most powerful when used in tandem with the support of someone experienced in managing stress by supporting your wellbeing.

Having an advocate in your corner who knows what you need and helps keep you accountable and empowered is the next achievement in stress management. If you’re ready to unlock that next level of support, StressSolutions is ready to help you get there.

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