Manage Summer Stress with These Tips

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Managing your family’s play, travel and work schedules during the summer can be stressful.

According to United Health Foundation’s 2016 America’s Health Rankings report, Texas ranks 5th in the U.S. when it comes to poor mental health days — days that people unfavorably assess their mental health, which can affect their well-being and quality of life.

A modest amount of stress, offset by periods of relative calm and security, is normal. It’s the high levels of stress that can be dangerous to your health and lead to headaches, back pain, fatigue, upset stomach, anxiety, depression and heart problems.

The good news is that stress can be managed. Here are five tips to help you take control of your health this summer:

  1. Take care of yourself. Eat healthier, engage in moderate exercise and get enough sleep – all of which can improve your health.
  2. Figure out the source. Monitor your mental state throughout the day and keep a list of the things that create stress. Then develop a plan for dealing with these common stressors.
  3. Do things you enjoy. Go to a movie, meet a friend for dinner or participate in an activity that provides relief. Give yourself a break and take time to care about yourself.
  4. Learn relaxation techniques. Deep breathing is helpful. Meditation and “mindfulness techniques” are becoming increasingly popular at home and in the workplace. You can practice mindfulness while sitting in a quiet place or walking. The key is to focus on your breathing or your steps.
  5. Welcome support. Let close friends or relatives know you’re dealing with stress, and they may be able to offer help or support.

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