This April, BMI underscores the vital role stress management plays in our daily lives, especially as we observe Stress Awareness Month. By incorporating small, consistent actions into our routines, we can significantly reduce stress and enhance our overall wellbeing. Prioritizing self-care and adopting healthy coping strategies are key to facing life's challenges effectively.

What is stress?

Stress is a feeling of tension or mental strain arising from challenging circumstances. It is  a natural response that pushes us to tackle difficulties and dangers in life. While everyone encounters stress to some extent, how we handle it significantly impacts our overall health. 

How does stress impact us?

Stress affects both our mental and physical well-being. A moderate level of stress can enhance our performance in daily tasks. However, excessive stress can lead to health issues, both mentally and physically. Managing stress effectively can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and promote better mental and physical health. 

What are the indicators of stress?

When stressed, it becomes challenging to unwind, leading to feelings of anxiety and irritability. Concentration may be affected, and individuals can experience physical symptoms like headaches, stomach upset, and sleep disturbances. Changes in appetite, either decreased or increased, may also occur. Prolonged stress can aggravate existing health issues and increase reliance on alcohol, tobacco, or other substances. 

Stress can also trigger or intensify mental health conditions, particularly anxiety and depression. Persistent stress symptoms can disrupt daily activities, impacting performance in daily life, work or school.

Managing Stress Effectively

Maintain a consistent daily routine

Establishing a daily schedule helps manage time efficiently and instils a sense of control. Allocate time for meals, family, exercise, chores, and leisure activities. 

Prioritize quality sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial for mental and physical well-being. Sleep rejuvenates the body and counters the effects of stress.

Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene:​

  1. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends.
  2. Ensure a quiet, dark, and comfortable sleeping environment.
  3. Minimize screen time before bed.
  4. Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before sleep.
  5. Stay physically active during the day to aid sleep.

Stay connected

Maintain connections with loved ones and confide in trusted individuals about your worries. Sharing feelings can improve mood and reduce stress levels.​​

​​Adopt a balanced diet

Nutrition plays a key role in health. Aim for a well-rounded diet with regular meal timings and stay hydrated. Incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

​Engage in regular exercise

Consistent physical activity helps alleviate stress. Activities can range from walking to more vigorous workouts.

Limit news consumption

Overindulgence in news via television and social media can heighten stress. Manage your news intake to prevent undue stress.​