How to Recognize and Manage Stress
by Taylor Hogan
Stress. It's something we all deal with in our everyday lives. Stress Awareness Month has been held every April for 28 years to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for stress. At Populum, our mission is to change the landscape of modern self-care and to encourage all to seek well-being. This month, we join the effort to seek cures for stress and to bring awareness to the strategies helping to mitigate stressors in our lives.
Despite its reputation, some stress is natural and perfectly healthy. At times, a small amount of stress can actually help to motivate productivity. Stress is also a vital warning system that produces a fight-or-flight response to danger. Have you ever felt anxiety before public speaking? Or before giving a presentation at work? This type of pressure can help you focus better on the presentation.
Recognizing Our Stressors
The problem with stress occurs when we experience an excess of it over long periods of time. Just how much stress is "too much" differs from person to person. Unfortunately, we live in a high stimulus world surrounded by unavoidable stressors. From the stresses at work, to home life, there are causes everywhere. It may be tough to tell when you're experiencing good or bad stress, but there are important ways that your body lets you know that you're struggling with too much stress. According to the Stress Management Society, these are signs that you're experiencing too much stress:
• Inability to concentrate or complete tasks
• Getting sick more often with colds
• Body aches
• Other illnesses like autoimmune diseases flare-up
• Trouble falling sleeping or staying awake
• Changes in appetite
• More angry or anxious than usual
Strategies for Managing Stress
While living entirely without stress isn't realistic, managing and bringing it to a healthy level is. You cannot stop stressful situations from happening, but you can control how your body responds to them. Here are some stress management strategies.
Physical Activity and Fitness
There's a reason exercise appears on atop stress-management strategies. It works! Regular physical activity has positive effects on numerous aspects of your health. It also happens to be one of the most effective ways to deal with stress. Whether your new or old to exercising, there are many different ways to get moving. Don't be afraid to try something new, like a new workout class or outdoor activity. There is something for everyone, and the benefits are too great to miss!
Let's be honest with ourselves: most of us don't get enough sleep. Our busy schedules quickly put sleep on the bottom of priority lists. Being tired puts more stress on our bodies and makes it challenging to get through the day's tasks and activities. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep is effective when dealing with stress.
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing your attention to external and internal experiences happening in the present moment. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or even just taking a step away from the hustle, could contribute to mindfulness. It is essential to reconnect with yourself and pay attention to what your body and mind are telling you. Ignoring the signs of too much stress is easy when you are running around trying to get everything done. Remember to take a step back and breathe every once in a while!
Ever feel like there isn't enough time in the day? Us too. We live in a time of constant pressure to be always productive. No wonder we're stressed! We can't avoid distractions and time-wasters throughout our day, but we can manage them better. Taking a moment to organize and plan your day can make all the difference in what you get done. Prioritize what's essential so you are not spending too much time on the wrong tasks.
This is Populum's area of expertise. Whether it's holistic health, such as CBD, or even just cleaning up around the house, there are hundreds of natural remedies that can help manage your stress. Maybe do some spring cleaning (Marie Kondo, anyone?). Give yourself more energy naturally with green tea, or unwind after a long day with Populum CBD.
How Our Customers Manage Stress
There is a stigma around mental health that says we are alone. This simply isn't true. We all undergo stressors and aren't alone in looking for ways to manage them. We reached out to the Populum community to ask them how they manage their stress. We hope these stories not only help you identify some ways you can manage your own stress but help you to not feel alone in your journey to better respond to stress!
"When I get overly stressed, I get anxious. So I take time to slow down and take care of myself. Sometimes that is sleep. Sometimes it's exercise. But I stop and take time to control what I can." - Andrea N.
"My stress levels constantly get elevated at my fast-paced job. When this happens, I take a minute to step away and do some deep breathing. This, combined with taking CBD before heading into my workday help keep me calm and collected. " - Valerie G.
"I exercise to relieve stress. Sweat it out!" - Jordan G.
"When stressed, I've taken a multi-method approach... long walk outside (~4 miles), meditate (10 min), and use CBD before bed." - Ken E.
"I get really bad migraines that cause me even worse anxiety than normal. I use a Populum Tincture 2x daily. I also found that a dab of the cold therapy rub on my temples during a headache helps me a lot!" - Leah T.
"Currently, with COVID-19 I find myself trying to exercise more and get plenty of rest. Social distancing is important. Doing things that keep my mind and body busy is crucial. I like to include a quiet bath sometimes while listening to an audiobook now and then, as well. I take CBD in the evening to ensure a good night's rest." - Tammy W.
"I took CBD capsules daily to manage stress, which effectively gave me the confidence and motivation to pull through the tasks ahead." - Victoria T.
"I am a school teacher and right now I am teaching 28 second graders through digital platforms. Unfortunately I work with students who don't have access to technology which has limited our ability to teach. I use CBD regularly coupled with yoga and mediation to be a calm and centered presence during this tumultuous time." -Julia M.
"Yoga, exercise, good rest, CBD at night." - Jessica D.
"I usually find during the times I feel stressed that I need to take a step back from what I am working on or what I am doing at the current moment. I either take a walk, or I look for support through other friends around me. Just walking and having a simple talk with someone about how their day is, calms me down. I also find that when I'm stressed, I come home and take my Populum dose for the day and relax on the couch and watch a good movie or binge-watch a show. Stepping away from reality sometimes also helps!" - Carla B.
"Being a nurse in the current health crisis has been the most stressful time in my life. I am unable to go to the gym or decompress with my friends, so I have been doing exercise and dance at home, reading, reaching out to my friends, and taking time to myself along with using CBD at night." - Irene A.
"When I become stressed, I also become very anxious. When this happens I usually try to give myself space from the moment. I take deep breathes and honor my feelings and move forward. I also choose to medicate with CBD. Migraines usually come on when I become stressed and CBD helps tremendously." - Ashley B.
"As a nurse, I constantly feel under stress. I do my best to incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, using oils, and quick mindful check during my shifts. I have also turned to CBD products to help alleviate my chronic back and knee pain from being on my feet for 12+ hours." - Malaiya K.
"Working as a physical therapist assistant, I face a lot of stress each day but especially due to this new virus that is going around. One of the things that I've done that has helped me with stress is to use the relieving cream that Populum offers. I like to massage that into my sore muscles and practice deep breathing and meditation at the same time. This allows me to relax, recover from the day, and collect my thoughts to make a plan for the next." - Hailey A.
"My stress levels seemed to be always elevated during college. I used exercises and meditation to help me. Now being a healthcare worker during this crisis, I recently received your free Cold Therapy Hemp Rub, and that has done wonders for my stressed out muscles as well as continue to exercise, eat healthy, and remain positive during these trying times." - Rachel S.
Thank you to all our customers who told us how they manage stress. For more information about stress and stress management strategies, visit The American Institute of Stress.