Don’t Stress About It: Four Tips for Addressing StressDec 02, 2022
Stress is a word that not many people like to hear, let alone talk about, but it’s something nobody can avoid. Even the Oprah Winfreys and Elon Musks of the world, despite their fame and power, still have to deal with personal stresses on a daily basis.
For many women in midlife, normally defined from ages 40-65, the stress they endure can at times seem all-encompassing, and can come from a number of different directions. These may include some – if not all – of the following:
- Relationship stress: disputes, disagreements, changing priorities, interests, needs
- Coping with a separation or divorce
- Financial stress: lack of employment, income, financial disagreements
- Raising children, or having to deal with adult children’s issues, or their moving home
- Health issues: personal and/or family
- Daily pressures of being a woman: expectations of having to cook, clean, provide for family, and being a wife/partner all simultaneously
Sometimes it can feel as if life just progresses from one crisis to another. The restrictions and traumas wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic have only compounded mental health issues for women and indeed, most everyone.
Accepting stress is a part of life
One of the best things you can do is simply accept that stress is a part of life and that some of it is just unavoidable. That is just one of the tips provided by the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in an article entitled, “The 4 A’s of stress relief.”1 Let’s briefly review this and some of the other advice provided in dealing with stress:
Tip 1: Avoid!
Although some stress is unavoidable, there are measures we can take to either avoid or mitigate some stress that crops up in life.
If you’re stuck in a line, or mired in traffic on a highway, these can easily generate annoyance. That’s a perfect time to put on some music and dance or sing along to whatever brings you happiness.
The article also notes trying to avoid people who bring stress into our lives. Well, easier said than done at times! But, for example, if there is a colleague who sometimes brings out the worst in you, try to create some physical distance between yourself and them. The less contact at times, the better.
And, a simple, but invaluable point: it’s okay to say "no". If you’re feeling overburdened and stretched a hundred different directions, you should not feel pressed to do everything for everyone. Set limits for yourself, and politely but firmly say "no". One should never feel they have to be a saint, nor a martyr.
Tip 2: Alter!
By trying to pre-emptively alter a potentially sensitive or stressful situation (or conversation), half the work of dialing down the tension might already be done.
If there are off-limit topics, time limits, or any other constraints, make them clear from the start. People should respect your boundaries and value your time too, just as you would want to do for them.
And if someone is mistreating you, speak-up. Often, we have to be our own advocates. Communicating your feelings is never the wrong thing to do as long as it’s done in a calm and respectful manner. The Mayo Clinic notes that one should use “I” when describing feelings – this makes your feelings that much more personal.
Tip 3: Accept!
There will be some life-events that we cannot change (alter) or avoid. A loved one passes, an injury occurs, etc. Learning acceptance might be the hardest thing to do, but fighting against a situation we cannot fight (and cannot win or resolve) will do more harm than good.
If you find yourself in such a situation, reach out and talk it out. Bottling feelings seldom does any good. A therapist, trusted family member, or a friend are all good options. And, if finding friends is a challenge or if you want to grow your social circle, there are ways to do so. Try Amintro, a social community platform designed for people specifically 50 plus to come together, make new friends, and to be there for each other. Even if you have a group of friends, expanding your social circle is never a bad thing.
Tip 4: Adapt!
Finally, being mindful of your own expectations and learning to adapt to new situations or challenges can be very beneficial. If you tend to seek perfection for example, often times you’ll just be setting yourself up for disappointment. Letting go, and changing your views on things, can help relieve that stress.
Stress is here to stay, so let’s accept it and move forward
And, that’s just the case. Life was never meant to be a walk in the park. How we relate to the stresses and challenges in our lives will have much to do with the outcome of those stresses. Maybe you can take the challenges you face and make something good out of them. Turn a stress into a success. But – don’t stress out trying to do so!
Even in the face of multiple stresses, these tips can help you cope on a daily basis. Always remember that you are not alone. Advocate for yourself. Proactively deal with issues – talk to a friend, take a time out, enjoy a treat – you will be that much better for it in the end.
Written and contributed by Charlene Nadalin, Founder of Amintro. Amintro is the online social platform and information hub exclusively for those 50+ interested in expanding their circles of friends and staying involved, informed, and connected. Another great thing about Amintro is that it’s FREE and easy to join! To learn more about Amintro, please visit https://amintro.com/
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