Simple Coping Techniques for Everyday Stress

Americans are more stressed than ever after navigating through a global pandemic for more than two years. While some amount of stress is normal and expected, people have been experiencing high levels of stress, which can lead to negative health effects if not addressed.

Stress can cause adverse physical reactions including trouble sleeping or overeating, as well as emotional distress, which can include irritability, anxiety or trouble focusing. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies to combat stress; even a simple change such as taking a 15-minute daily walk can make a difference.

In celebration of Stress Awareness Month, CommuniCare employee Danielle Mullins weighs in on how she helps residents and colleagues at her facility manage stress. Danielle is the activities leader at Indian Creek Healthcare Center in Corydon, IN.

Danielle working with a resident.What is your number one stress relief tip?

I find the most effective stress relief tip is the magic of music. Finding the right type of music to help calm your mind and emotions can be an absolute lifesaver. I oftentimes can turn my entire day around for both my residents and myself by choosing the right type of song for the moment.

In what ways do you incorporate stress relief for residents or your fellow employees?

I do what I can to help alleviate stress on our unit by effectively communicating with staff and residents of the day’s plans and activities. I also keep the mood light with bright colored seasonal decorations, aroma diffusers with calming smells, mood elevating music and maintaining my positive outlook and attitude, spreading kindness and being understanding any chance I can.

Our activities leaders plan a wide variety of events each week to bring joy to our residents, and these activities help to reduce any feelings of stress our residents may be experiencing.

Even though mild levels of stress usually can be managed with lifestyle changes and coping mechanisms, be sure to have an open conversation with your healthcare provider about any stress you are experiencing. They can connect you with additional resources if needed.