Where in the world have the past few months gone? Summer came and went before we knew it and Fall is ahead of us. Fall is my favorite time of year, not to hot and not to cold. The leaves change colors and everything pumpkin comes out. Yes, I am that girl, Pumpkin Spice Latte’s and let’s just be honest, anything pumpkin goes.
This time of year, a lot changes, some good, some challenging. School is back in session, parents are running their kids from here to there and back again, attending sporting events and trying to keep up with the household chores. All on top of working, maintaining relationships, and trying to find time to make dinner and get enough sleep. Does this sound like you?
Stress can create several changes to our personalities including irritability, lack of interest in taking care of our needs or appearances, social withdrawal and isolation, and procrastination or reduced work productivity. Stress can also create changes to our cognitive functioning including difficulties making decisions, difficulties concentrating and trouble learning new information. Stress can also lead to an increase in anxiety, lead to a sense of impending doom and physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, feeling faint, and nausea. With that said, what are some ways you can cope or change how you allow stress to impact you? First of all, slow down. Don’t take on too much. Be mindful. Practice healthy coping skills such as deep breathing, pleasant imagery, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation exercises. Exercise daily. Talk to others. Ask for support. Make time for YOU! Remember, self-care is not selfish, it is an important responsibility that will make you a better person, employee, mother, father, sister, brother, or partner. Explore your needs and explore your interests and create an action plan. The sky is the limit and the only one standing in your way is you. So, get out of your own way and live your best life!
If you find it difficult to cope, remember, counseling is a great way to explore your needs more and to identify solutions to challenges you may not see solutions to. It is also a great opportunity to process thoughts, feelings, and past experiences and help you work through difficult transitions that may come your way.