Stress By Emilee Kerper Stress is something we’ve probably heard of but you might think about how it affects us and our lives. There can be positive stress, like maybe finding out you’re getting an award in front of the whole school. There’s also negative stress like losing your homework or a friend moving away. We’re facing stress all the time, anytime things happen that are out of our “normal” life. Learning to notice stress as it's happening and how to handle these changes is really important and can mean a lot for our mental, emotional and physical health. If we’re allowing stress to overwhelm us and our thoughts, it’s going to be hard to go about our normal day without being bothered by the stress in our life and could cause problems for us. Noticing how we’re responding is a good start to managing stress. There might be a busy feeling or anxiety or nervousness. Or it might feel more like excitement or even confusion. Whatever feelings come up might be distracting, and it’s important to learn some strategies to help calm our stress, even the good kind. Going for a walk, talking to a friend, sitting quietly, taking deep breaths, writing in a journal, drawing a picture - all of these are great examples of things a person might do while stressed to help them calm down and return to their normal day. Using mindfulness to notice the immediate surroundings and sensations in your body can also help you reconnect to the moment and away from the whirlwind of thoughts about the stress.
Every day will be a bit different with our stress level and the way we are reacting, but it’s worth our energy to begin this process of looking at ourselves. Chronic stress can have extremely harmful effects on our health if we are not attentive to cultivating calm spaces for ourselves to heal and relax. Making stress-management and self-care a regular part of our daily practices can have a profoundly positive impact on our well-being.
If you want to talk more about this or other issues, reach out! Our connect groups and mentorship programs are a great way to get involved in conversations with others about these important issues. We care about your health! Reach out to Northwest Kidney Kids to get connected.