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The New Reality and Ways to Cope with Stress

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — July 31, 2020 — 4 min read
This article is based on a series of interviews for the Latino community conducted in partnership with Latina 102.3 FM radio station.

The COVID-19 crisis has created a new reality for everyone. We are living in a time of constant change and face unique challenges every day. Our priority is to help the community cope with the “new normal” without compromising their mental health. This article will help you learn about stress: what it is and ways to manage it.

What Does It Mean to be Stressed?

Stress is a feeling of physical or emotional tension. It is how the brain and body respond to a challenge or a demand for change. Working from home, adjusting our daily routine, and getting used to social distancing are factors that could cause stress.

The Benefits of Stress

The tension we feel from stress can bring certain benefits. When we face a stressful situation, stress causes us to look for effective solutions. This tension also sends warning signals and creates hormones that prepare the body to face danger. This is known as the “fight or flight” response.

Another positive effect of stress is productivity. The tension we feel inspires us to complete projects and get creative. In other words, stress helps our brain achieve our goals.

When is Stress Bad?

Too much of anything could be harmful. Stress ceases to be positive when it is chronic and uncontrollable. Feeling constant tension can negatively affect our mental and physical health. Chronic stress risks include:
mental health screening

Take a screening here.

Steps to Manage Stress

To take control of our emotions, it is important to look within ourselves and determine which factors make us feel stressed. That way we can identify common stress symptoms and find ways to cope with them.

Recognize that Thoughts Affect Reality

It is proven that our thoughts can influence how we face our reality. Therefore, we must try to be more mindful of how we interpret the challenges that come our way. If we practice positive thinking and express ourselves positively, we will be able to change our perspective. In this article, we discuss how to experience the power of positivity.

To achieve this positive state of mind, it’s important to take an active pause to breathe and bring awareness to our thoughts. Positivity comes from recognizing the good and focusing on things we can control. Check out these phrases that invite us to think positively and can help lower stress levels:
  • “I will take only one step at a time.”
  • “I will remain calm.”
  • “I have been through worse things, I can get through this.”
  • “I am doing well with this difficult situation.”
  • “I learn and will grow from my mistakes.”

Practice Self-Care to Protect Your Mental Health

Self-care involves taking steps to take care of our physical and emotional needs. It could be something simple, like going to bed earlier; or it could be something that involves more work, like adjusting our schedule to make time for ourselves.

During these changing times, our own well-being must be a priority. You can review our daily steps guide to better your mental health and improve your quality of life.

Stress Management Activities at Home

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are spending more time at home. Some at-home activities that can help us reduce stress include:
  • Dedicating a time during the day to breathe consciously
  • Yoga, meditation, or prayer
  • Exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Staying in touch with your loved ones
  • Keeping a journal
  • Doing hobbies that make you happy
We are here to help you find the support you need. We invite you to browse our website to find more resources on how to face this crisis and deal with the effects of stress.

To learn more about our services for the Latino community in North Carolina, you can listen to our interview with Latina 102.3 FM in the video below (available in Spanish only). Kilsy Silva-Disla, Community Relations Specialist and Coordinator of the Crisis Intervention Team at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, provided detailed recommendations to the community.
 

Need Mental Health Help Fast?

Call **ASK (star-star-2-7-5) from your cell phone or 1-800-939-5911.

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