»»» Quit relying on ineffective strategies and techniques. It’s time to do more than simply “muddle through.” STRESS IS RISING. YOU ARE NOT IMAGINING IT. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America™ Survey finds that we are experiencing our highest levels of anxiety—ever. Money and work are perennial stressors that continue to worry nearly two-thirds of the respondents to APA’s 2017 poll. But a similar percentage also reported that the future of the nation is a “very/somewhat significant” source of stress. Family responsibilities, as well as personal and loved ones’ health concerns, political divisiveness and the threat of violence/crime are other categories rife with anxiety. Relationships (or the lack thereof), travel, school/studies, time management, ever-changing technology, the performance of beloved sports teams, whatever is #trending—these may not have been specified in the APA poll, but we all know they are other contributors of tension and worry. In fact, just reading this list of triggers can make our hearts beat faster and breaths more ragged. So, let’s not dwell on the sources of stress, but focus on how to manage the effects instead. Indeed, when it came time for the SN magazine team to identify a topic for this, our annual personal development issue, we quickly came to unanimous agreement. We could serve our readers (and yes, maybe ourselves, too) by exploring the critical importance of stress-relief and sharing some effective coping strategies. Are you managing your stress—or are you letting it manage you? When your to-do list is one of the greatest sources of your angst, probably most of your focus is on making every hour count. Carving out specific time to address your stress might seem like a “waste” of precious minutes that could be spent getting another item checked off the list. When your considerable list is finished, then you’ll be able to focus on stress-relief tactics, right? Here’s a hint: That to-do list won’t be “finished” until you’re dead—literally. You must stop muddling through in the anticipation that your stressors will simply resolve themselves on their own. Not. Gonna. Happen. And the consequences of staying in a rut of “magical thinking” can be dire—don’t skip over Duffy Perkins’ article, “SOS! Your Body’s Under Stress,” beginning on the next page, because you may need to hear some hard truths about the destructive effects of chronic stress. It’s our hope that you’ll then feel compelled to actively try out some of the suggestions offered in “Ex-[er]-cise Your Stress Away” (page 32), “Letting It Go” (page 42) and “It’s All in Your Mind” (page 52). Also, head online to read this month’s Bonus Web Content, www.schoolnutrition.org/snmagazinebonus, featuring more insights from the APA poll, additional coping tips and some advice for confronting and eliminating various sources of stress. Start 2018 with the right attitude about prioritizing stress management. Stress will always be with us—but you can choose how much control it has over your health and happiness.
Published by School Nutrition Association. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/Address+Your+Stress/2975455/466007/article.html.