ZEN ZONE: Part 5!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we have taken time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Some of the questions we’ve looked at this month were:

As we’ve been exploring our own stress management strategies this month, we can check in on how things went.

Did you use The Stress Management Society’s 30 Day Challenge resources to find strategies that worked for you? Did you track the activities you did for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing? Which tips and tricks worked best for you? Did you learn something new about managing stress this month?

At the end of the day, we are all different – and our best stress management strategies will all be different too!

Making the Zen Zone part of our health and safety month this year has been about exploring new ways to look at stress, trying new ways to manage stress, and (hopefully!) feeling the difference that managing stress proactively can make in our daily lives. Let us know how it went in the comments!

ZEN ZONE: Part 4!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at how to respond to stress in the moment by using tactical breathing. This week, we’re asking another question: how does stress cause damage?

Knowing about the long-term effects of stress over time helps us understand the damage it can cause — check out the Stress Management Society video below that explains more about stress and pressure by imagining a bridge. You can use a color grid, like this one from the CMA website, to check in on where you are currently and see how often you leave the “Green” zone:

One of the stress management strategies from the Canadian Medical Association website is to pace yourself by understanding that we all have physical and emotional limits. It’s important to be intentional with what you’re setting out to achieve in order to support healthy limits. Consider trying out a planner, like this one offered through the Stress Management Society website.

There are many resources online that offer strategies you can use to manage stress – get curious, explore, and find a strategy that works for you. Check out the Mayo Clinic’s “The 4 A’s of Stress Relief” here and read about 5 tips to manage stress here.

ZEN ZONE: Part 3!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at sources of stress, and how wellness supports like focusing on slowing down the flow of information helps keep stress from being unhelpful. This week, we’re following up with another question: how can we best respond to stress in the moment?

A key component to responding to stress is to recognize how it affects the body physically — check out the BBC video below that explains more.

One of the stress management strategies from the Canadian Medical Association website is a breathing exercise developed by the Canadian Armed Forces (tactical breathing):

  • Breathe in slowly for a count of four, visualizing each number as you count.
  • Pause and hold your breath for a count of four.
  • Exhale slowly for a count of four.
  • Repeat four times.

Consider adding this breathing exercise in to your daily wellbeing practices. You can also have a peek at the wellbeing suggestions for the 30 Day Challenge and add new ideas to your calendar for this week!

ZEN ZONE: Part 2!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

Last week we looked at basic information about what stress is, and resources to integrate wellness supports into our daily lives. This week, we’re following up with another question: where does stress come from?

The short answer is, stress can come from different sources, and we all experience it differently. According to the Canadian Medical Association, this includes:

Physical conditions: fatigue, exhaustion, insomnia, pain, illness, substance use

Psychology and emotions: anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness/lack of control

Personal circumstances: financial, relationship, family needs and/or disruptions

School and work: schedules, workload, complaints

We can see from the list above that sources of stress are common. The key is to stop stress from crossing from “helpful” into “unhelpful” — check out the CMHA video below about keeping stress in check.

You can also have a peek at the wellbeing suggestions for the 30 Day Challenge and add new ideas to your calendar for this week! One of the wellbeing suggestions is also a strategy from the Canadian Medical Association website: manage stress by increasing FOCUS, which means slowing down the flow of information. It can be helpful to identify times where you’re not consuming social media or news. If you’re interested in doing a digital detox, you can use this assessment at the start and at the end to see if things change for you!

ZEN ZONE!

Hey there everyone and welcome to the ZEN ZONE, where we take time out each Friday in April to zoom in on stress management information, resources, and strategies.

So let’s start at the beginning: what is stress?

Stress is “the body’s response to a real or perceived threat” and it’s meant to “get people ready for some kind of action to get them out of danger” — and, it can be either helpful, or unhelpful. We’re going to focus on dealing with unhelpful stress. Over the coming month we will have a look at the strategies found in the brochure below, under “what can I do about it” — and we’ll try to find ways to make those strategies something we can do each day.

As we’re exploring our own stress management strategies this month, we can use The Stress Management Society’s 30 Day Challenge resources to get started — check out their calendar to help track the activities you want to do for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for 30 days, and their tips and tricks for choosing activities to try!