Rogers expert gives warning signs, self-care tips for National Stress Awareness Month04/14/23 03:30:pm
Since 1992, National Stress Awareness Month has been observed in April, raising awareness of the negative impact stress has on our daily lives.
“Stress is the physical and the mental reaction we have to a stressor, which is essentially anything happening outside of us that causes us strain or tension,” says Maya D’Eon, PhD, psychologist and clinical supervisor at Rogers in San Diego. “Situations that are uncertain or uncontrollable are a breeding ground for stress.”
Dr. D’Eon says awareness is critical because we aren’t accustomed to regularly checking in with ourselves.
“We all tend to focus on the things we have to do and the people in our lives,” she says. “Stress builds as the number and intensity of stressors increase. The longer we’re exposed to a stressor, the more it taxes us physically and mentally. When left unchecked, a person can reach the point of burnout.”
Dr. D’Eon says people in the role of caregivers are especially susceptible to burnout, which can manifest in the following ways:
- Persisting exhaustion
- Feeling indifferent or less connected
- Thinking more negatively and becoming more easily annoyed, frustrated, or bothered
- Being forgetful
- Experiencing headaches, changes in sleep, or appetite
“We can’t handle stress effectively if our basic needs aren’t being met,” Dr. D’Eon explains. “I recommend prioritizing sleep, staying hydrated, exercising, and limiting caffeine. Focusing on these basics allows you to be in a better starting position by giving you the mental and physical energy needed to tackle challenges.”
When we’re under stress, she says we need to acknowledge it, then stop, step back, and do things that recharge us.
“I recommend scheduling self-care breaks throughout the day,” she says. “Even five to 10 minutes to do something you find restorative or relaxing helps. Figure out what’s in your control and problem solve ways to reduce the strain. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out to someone you trust for support.”
“It’s a great way to ensure we’re caring for the caregivers,” she says.
For more information on stress and its effects, watch a recent interview Dr. D’Eon did with CBS 8 in San Diego.
Rogers offers Compassion Resilience
A key part of managing daily stress is taking steps to build resilience. Alison Wolf, Community Learning and Engagement operation and development manager, says there are currently 151 Rogers teammates trained in leading compassion resilience throughout the organization.
“The Compassion Resilience Toolkits provide support and resources to help organizations, teams, and caregivers build and maintain a culture of well-being and compassion,” Alison says. “The goal is to maintain empathy, strength, and hope, while preventing compassion fatigue, especially for people in a caregiver role.”