These days, there is plenty of stress to go around. It could be caused by academics, family issues, FCAT tests or an upcoming move — the list of possibilities is endless. In fact, stress levels have reached a new high, say CHILL mental health professionals. CHILL (Community Help & Intervention in Life’s Lessons) is a program funded by the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) that helps provide each of the schools in the Winter Park Consortium with a professional mental health counselor. Find out more here.
Families in general are overwhelmed, according to Cindy Knight, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and CHILL counselor for Lake Sybelia Elementary School in Maitland. There is stress related to finances and job instability and other associated issues such as having to move, and it trickles into the whole family system. Stress bounces between parents and kids and then the kids bring it to school.
So what can we do in order to eliminate some of these stressors? We have come up with a list of 10 tools for managing stress provided by Mental Health America on its “live your life well” website at www.liveyourlifewell.org.
- Connect with others — you don’t have to cope with stress or other issues on your own.
- Stay positive — change negative self-talk or keep a gratitude journal.
- Get physically active — it can decrease stress, anger and tension, and offers a greater sense of well-being.
- Help others — it can help you take your mind off your own worries and builds self-esteem.
- Get enough sleep — this helps you recover from stresses of the day.
- Create joy and satisfaction — add some fun and leisure time into your schedule.
- Eat well — the right foods can fuel the brain and improve moods.
- Take care of your spirit.
- Deal better with hard times — find coping skills and shift your thinking.
- Get professional help if you need it — it is OK to ask for help.