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Family and Consumer Sciences Education: Take Control of Stress

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   Everyone experiences stress; however, due to the COVID-19, individuals and families may face new and different challenges. Therefore, possibly making it worse. Stress affects people in different ways and the way each individual handle it varies. It is important to identify and manage stress before it controls you.

   Stress affects each individual in various ways. Some signs of stress are headaches, anxiety, anger, change in sleep patterns, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. The first step to controlling your stress is to recognize how your body reacts to it. There are many different ways to manage stress. Figuring out what works for you to help manage and relieve it is not the same for everyone.

   Taking time to do what you enjoy is a great way to relieve stress. It can be going for a walk, reading a book, making a craft, or doing anything else that you like. Thinking positive thoughts and looking for something positive in everything helps when dealing stress.

   Physical activity is something else that can help with stress. Get up and move throughout the day. If you sit for long periods of time during the day, then make small changes to move more. You can take the stairs instead of an elevator, park away from the door, stand periodically, or do stretches. There are multiple stretches you can do to help relieve some stress. You can do hand, shoulder, upper back, or overhead stretches.

   Relaxing and deep breathing are some techniques beneficial in dealing with stress. Try to listen to calming music, meditate, or whatever helps you to relax. Practice deep breathing or mindfulness. Get in a comfortable position. Take slow, deep breaths. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure to focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing helps to take your mind off of other things. It may take more than one time to work, so continue doing it multiple times.

   Remember to learn and recognize your stress and the signs of it. Take time to do some things that help to relieve or minimize your stress. It is important to do this before it gets out of control.

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