Caring for Yourself in Times of Stress and Anxiety

2020:  the year we’re all ready to put in the rear-view mirror.  Whether it was job loss or financial difficulties due to the pandemic, the fear of what could happen when we dared to venture out, or the unsettling political climate, 2020 was a year that drove many of us to the edge of debilitating stress and anxiety.  The effects of both are myriad and well-documented, ranging from a slight but nagging feeling of unease, to severe physical ailments.

While 2021 looks like a year of recovery and renewal on many counts, carryover stress and uncertainty about the future can still affect us during these long, winter days ahead.  Fortunately, there are a few simple things we can do to calm down, focus, and find a centered spot from which to move forward.  

Strategies for overcoming stress and anxiety (specific actions are in articles listed below):

  • Calm your physical reaction to a stressful situation by using “Grounding” techniques.
  • Pay attention to your feelings: acknowledge the feelings and your right to have them.
  • Even a short time spent outside each day is refreshing for mind and body.
  • Maintain connections with friends and family.  Be patient with them and with yourself.
  • Get help if you need it.  In Naperville, help is available from SamaraCare Counseling and through Linden Oaks Behavioral Health.  

Today, taking just one “baby step” can put you on the path to feeling positive:  call a friend, walk a dog (borrow one if necessary!), write down your feelings, eat healthy.