Fairview Range Blog

Finding Serenity: A Guide to Reducing Stress in Your Life

Stress is sometimes an unavoidable companion in our daily lives. Between work deadlines and personal commitments, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frazzled. However, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of stress and take proactive steps to reduce its impact on our overall well-being. 

At Fairview Range, several Mental Health providers are here to support you. Kerry Reuter, a Nurse Practitioner in our psychiatry department, explains how to identify stress and offers tips and tricks on reducing stress through healthy lifestyle changes and activities. 

Signs of Stress

Stress can manifest itself in various ways, both physically and emotionally. Some common signs to watch out for include:

  • Physical Symptoms: Headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, insomnia, changes in appetite, and digestive issues can all be signs of stress.

“Stress can also manifest as physical symptoms in our bodies. People can experience muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, trouble sleeping, feeling sick or dizzy. Stress can show itself in the form of panic attacks, difficulty breathing, chest pains, high blood pressure, heartburn, and sweating. It can make people bite their nails, feel restless, unable to sit still, and even eat too much or too little.”

  • Emotional Symptoms: Anxiety, irritability, mood swings, feeling overwhelmed, and difficulty concentrating are common emotional signs of stress.

“Stress can make you feel irritable or angry, especially directed at those close to you. You can feel nervous or overwhelmed. Many people feel anxious or even fearful. It is common to hear that it feels like a person cannot turn off their thoughts, what we would refer to as racing thoughts. Stress can make you feel down or depressed.”

  • Behavioral Changes: Increased use of substances like alcohol or tobacco, withdrawal from social activities, or neglecting responsibilities may indicate stress.

Stress can give you a sense of dread or make you unable to enjoy things you previously did. You may have difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or even memory problems. Some people cry more than usual, are more tearful, or perhaps withdraw from family or friends.”

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Taking care of your body is essential for managing stress effectively. Here are some lifestyle choices that can help reduce stress:

  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity releases endorphins, natural stress-fighting hormones. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Exercise! Especially when you can get outside for fresh air and sunlight, which boosts serotonin and Vitamin D.” 

  • Quality Sleep: Prioritize getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, limit screen time before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment to promote better sleep.

Sleep! Whether it’s getting enough sleep or finding a better sleep routine, it will help.”

  • Balanced Diet: Fuel your body with nutritious foods that provide energy and support overall health. Focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats while minimizing processed foods, sugar, and caffeine.

“Healthier Eating! More whole foods, less processed foods, more fruits, and veggies.”

Stress-Reducing Activities

In addition to lifestyle changes, incorporating stress-reducing activities into your daily routine can help you manage stress effectively. Consider trying mindfulness and meditation or deep breathing exercises to slow down and quiet the mind. Hobbies and activities may bring you joy and relaxation. But most importantly, seek support. Don’t hesitate to ask friends, family, or a mental health professional for support. Talking about your feelings can provide relief and perspective on stressful situations.

“Self-care – whether that looks like 5 minutes alone in your bedroom a day doing some meditation or deep breathing exercises, a massage every month, a bubble bath every week, just make sure it’s something that makes you feel refreshed afterward. Coloring, doodling, or word puzzles – this can help calm and distract the mind from racing. Exercise, Stretching, or Yoga. Reading, Audiobook, Podcast, TV or Movie”

We’re Here to Support You 

Remember, a great community surrounds you with many people dedicated to keeping our community safe and healthy. We have several mental health providers who are here to support you. If you or a loved one are concerned about stress, the first step would be to discuss it with your primary care physician for a referral or call us at 218-362-6937 for more information.

While stress may be a natural part of life, it’s important to prioritize your mental and physical well-being by implementing healthy lifestyle choices and stress-reducing activities. You can find greater peace and balance by being aware of the signs of stress and taking proactive steps to manage it. 

Additional community resources for our patients:  


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