Managing Your Stress
Take control of your stress with these quick tips.
Stress is a fact of life, like taxes and the inevitability of getting that one song stuck in your head for days. Whether you’re dealing with work deadlines, family drama, or just the general chaos of modern life, stress can be overwhelming and exhausting.
However, it’s important to recognize the direct impact stress can have on our mental and physical health, especially if you’re living with a chronic condition, like kidney disease.
Choosing to practice regular stress-management techniques can help eliminate some of the stress you feel and make you more resilient in the future when your stress levels are higher. Let’s explore some of the stress management techniques that Somatus health support team members share with our community every day.
Take Control of the Things You Can
One of the major causes of stress is trying to control the uncontrollable. This is especially true for people who have a chronic illness and cannot remove their condition or ignore their disease.
Chronic illness can have a major impact on levels of stress, so try and focus on the aspects of your disease that you CAN control.
Five Ways to Manage Your CKD
- Ask questions at your doctors’ appointments and feel free to request that things get explained multiple times, so you make sure to have a firm understanding. Check out our blog on key health terms and acronyms to help expand your kidney care knowledge.
- Follow the diet recommended by your doctor or Somatus dietitian.
- Keep an eye on your weight, blood pressure, and any other conditions that affect your kidneys (like diabetes).
- Join us for a free CKD+Me online webinar series. Visit somatus.com/webinars to sign up.
- Surround yourself with a support network that can help you stay on top of your health.
Five Ways to Manage Your Stress
While these tips can be helpful for someone with CKD, an effective stress-management plan is not one-size-fits-all. Everyone has a unique “playlist” of the short-term and long-term techniques that work best for them. It’s all about finding a mix that works best for you, so don’t feel discouraged by a little trial and error.
Here are a few stress-management activities/tactics that might fit your style:
- Squeeze your stress away – Squeezing a squishy item (like a stress ball) can calm your nerves. When you squeeze it, your brain shifts its focus to your arm/hand muscles and away from your worries.
- Journaling – Write down what caused your stress and how it made you feel and act. This will help identify repeat stressors—and just getting it out and on paper can relieve stress in itself.
- Guided imagery – Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine a peaceful place. This is great for when you need instant calmness. Continue to breathe slowly in and out to help your body relax.
- Quality time with friends and family – Try to connect with your loved ones in person. Feeling safe and understood is a natural stress reliever.
- Exercising – Get up and get moving. Physical activity releases endorphins that make you feel good and ease your worries.
It Takes a Village
Above all else, we believe in the stress-relieving power of community. A simple and free way to help manage your stress is to ask for help when you need it. We understand this may be easier said than done, but don’t underestimate the willingness of your family, friends, care team, doctor, and community to lend an ear. Connecting with people reminds us we are not alone in our worries and can be a powerful way to learn how others have tackled stressful moments in their life.
The information contained here is for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you read here.
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