Dr. Ducharme’s Blog February 25, 2020 Tips to Manage Your Stress

February 24, 2020
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Life is often complicated. Many are also feeling that life is very stressful. Work, family obligations, financial stressors, our current political climate and 24-7 news cycle all can contribute to feelings of anxiety.  I am currently at a meeting with a group of psychologists. We are all trained to manage stress and anxiety. But, many of us were talking about how overwhelmed we are by the numbers of emails we get every day. Social media has created a situation where patients and colleagues can reach out and send us messages via email or text at any hour of any day. Phone meetings are scheduled after work hours. Setting limits and boundaries so that we have our free time to regenerate our own sense of peace is important.

Taking time for ourselves is critical to both our physical and mental health. In this vein I want to propose a few tips.

Remember the Serenity Prayer. This is the basic motto of Alcoholics Anonymous and many other 12 step programs. Although the actual prayer is longer, these first four lines are amazingly helpful. Even if you don’t believe in God, focus on the concepts of understanding what you can and cannot change.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Understand that your mind and body work together. If you are experiencing emotional

difficulties you won’t be feeling your best and vice versa.So take care of both.
 

Be kind to others. This really does come back at you. We tend to attract people that reflect  our own behaviors. So cut down of criticism of others and focus on what you can change in

 yourself.                            

Laugh as much as possible when appropriate. The dopamine released during laughter is

healing.

These may seem very basic. They are, but they are a great place to start.