Nobody wants to feel stressed or out of control. It is a feeling that can derail your life, but we can’t always look at it negatively. The rumbling in your stomach, fatigued brain, or drained muscles indicate that something is wrong in the body. The goal is to figure out ways to protect yourself to become better and healthier when you encounter these symptoms in the future.
Stress is a natural response to the current times we are living in. For many Americans, the transition of power and the ever-changing political environment causes stress or anxiety about the nation’s future. According to the Stress in America survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA), roughly 69% of Americans say the uncertain future is a predominant source of stress. The same survey found that 62% of Americans are stressed by the current political climate.
What Is Chronic Stress?
The central nervous system controls levels of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. It kicks your body into “fight or flight” and these hormones circulate through your body. The hypothalamus will instruct the adrenal glands to produce more stress hormones when you feel threatened or overwhelmed. When the body constantly feels threatened or overwhelmed, an excessive amount of stress hormones circulate within the body, leading to a state of chronic stress. The Franklin Institute refers to chronic stress as “metabolic overdrive.”
The Difference Between Stress And Chronic Stress
After an acutely stressful situation, the metabolism takes 90 minutes to return to normal. The body cannot return to normal in a person who experiences chronic stress. The reason for this is because stress and its symptoms get ignored, causing an inevitable burnout down the line. People can only relieve chronic stress once they resolve the root of the cause. If soothing, grieving, problem solving, or anything else cannot be resolved, stress can linger for months.
Ways To Cope With Stress About Social Unrest
Stress management techniques help you adapt to stressful events that occur down the line. Understanding the signs of stress can help you pinpoint when you need to implement stress-relieving practices. Recover from stress, take a breath, and help yourself stay as healthy as possible with the following tips.
Participate From The Sidelines
Many people are stressed about the current protests in America. Due to COVID-19, some people are still scared to be around large groups of people, and not being able to stand on the frontline with peaceful protestors can ignite feelings of stress. Understand that you can still make a difference from the sidelines. There are ways to get involved and protest injustice and racism by organizing petitions, posting positive messages on social media, donating to various organizations, or informing people how they can act similarly.
Stay Informed, But Know Your Limits
The 24-hour news cycle is a dangerous beast because many people don’t realize how much it affects their mental health. It is necessary to be informed about the goings on of the world, but it is easy for national events like these protests to consume your daily life. Don’t be afraid to unplug for a second. You cannot be your best self if you don’t have any downtime. Take a break from social media and all news outlets to recharge your batteries. Digital breaks can help you stay centered and calm.
Eat A Balanced Diet
It is so easy to neglect physical health when you are stressed. If you are going to join protests, especially with COVID-19 still circulating, you need to provide the body with essential nutrients. Drink water throughout the day and consume foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oils, lots of fruits and vegetables, and legumes to nourish the body and keep stress levels down.
Burying your emotions is a surefire way to burn out down the line. Seek solace in your community, be it through talking with friends and family, consulting a professional, or joining faith-based organizations. You are not alone, not now and not ever. There are many support systems in your community that lift you up and allow you to take forward strides toward maintaining mental health, while simultaneously addressing concerns and feelings.
Don’t Forget To Sleep
Sleep is the body’s natural way of recharging the batteries, but it can be hard to sleep when you are always stressed. You may not want to sleep because you are worried that things will get worse if you aren’t active 24/7. Rest well to ensure that your actions speak louder. You are not your best self if you aren’t well rested. If you need help sleeping, click here for tips.