Monday, November 22, 2010

Stress . . . What does that even mean?

It seems that in every conversation we’ve had lately, the phrase “I’m stressed” comes up. It may not be the primary point of the conversation . . . but it’s generally an underlying message. If you’re feeling stressed, especially as the holiday season approaches, it may be helpful to take a moment to sort out what that really means to you . . . and to assess whether or not the amount of stress you’re experiencing is manageable over the long term.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, consider looking outside yourself for help. To get you started, here are 10 resources:

1. The Government of Canada provides good background information on stress at:

2. Dr. Gabor Maté’s book, When the Body Says No, is a fascinating read

3. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook (6th ed) has been useful to many

4. Our own book, That Elusive Work-Life Balance, is available through our online store (print / pdf)

5. Community recreation centres, gyms, or fitness programs can release stress through activity

6. Seek spiritual solace through a local church, temple, mosque, or synagogue

7. Get checked by your physician – rule out any medical reasons for how you feel

8. Work with a coach to make positive changes in various aspects of your life

9. Complete an assessment. Tools like the Occupational Stress Inventory can help pinpoint what’s working and what’s not.

10.See a counsellor. Most communities have free mental health services and your workplace may have an Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Life Strategies supports individuals in person or over the phone. Contact to discuss appointment options for counselling, coaching, or completing the Occupational Stress Inventory or another assessment tool.

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