Tuesday, September 4, 2018

'Handle' Stress When You Actually Know How to Do So, Plus Other Ways to Stay Chill

Hanging out with friends can be a de-stressor, particularly if the conversation doesn't veer toward polarizing subjects. Archive photos.


all intents and purposes, summer is over.

The children are returning to school. Parents and other adults are returning to work, laboring five days instead of four, then a long weekend. The stresses and strain of restarting after taking it easy for almost three months will set in for many.

But stress does not have to get the best of us - not if we do something about it.

Two professionals featured in Penn State Health's popular weekly Medical Minute offer typical advice (eat healthfully, get sufficient sleep and exercise.).

However, they also offer up two bits of advice about managing stress that may not immediately spring to mind.

“If you spend a lot of time on unproductive worries, we tend to get stuck and feel helpless, which creates more stress," says Julie Radico, a psychologist and behavioral scientist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

A key locator can keep you from losing it.

Radico adds, “Consider instead if there is something you can do about it or a part of it that you can control and make better, and then put that on your to-do list.”

In other words, if you must belabor a problem, focus on the part that you can handle.

For example, if an upcoming job interview is causing all kinds of stressors, including oversleeping and being late, you can do a few things to prevent it. You can go to bed earlier than normal, plus set several

Further, you can decide the night before what you are going to wear - from the skin out: under garments, outer garments, accessories, including umbrella and/or sunglasses. Locate your keys.

Meanwhile, Peter Rainey, a behavioral scientist with Penn State Health Medical Group (in State College), has put stress in three categories: stress outside the home, stress inside the home and past family challenges. “The good news is that we know things that help with stress,” Rainey said.

The Joyful Heart alarm clock comes with various bells and whistles to get a sleepy head up and out.

Spending more time with a spouse or friends is one. And avoid talking about hot topics, like religion and politics, that can cause tempers to flare.

Don’t you feel your stress level dropping already?

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