When asked if she saw stress affecting certain people more than others, she said – from her perspective as a counselor and her experience working with clients of all ages, sexes, and cultural backgrounds – that “stress does not discriminate.” In her words, “stress is a feeling of being overwhelmed, exhausted, tense or worn out from life experiences” – and it affects everyone. And while there’s no doubt that everyone has experienced stress a time or two, the COVID-19 pandemic years have created a huge increase in stress, according to Bozek. The American Psychological Association reports that Gen Z is the most affected age group experiencing elevated stress levels, which created a national mental health crisis.
So, what are the sources of stress? Bozek said the three major stressors she sees in her clients are: daily hassles, major life events and life circumstances. Daily hassles can include things like traffic, lack of sleep and arguments. Major life events, on the other hand, might be something like starting college, marriage or buying a home. Lastly, life circumstances can include poverty, disabilities, discrimination, and job dissatisfaction. All these can lead to stress.
So, how can stress best be dealt with? Although escaping the chaos of life is nearly impossible, there are ways to help reduce and better manage stress levels. Bozek’s advice? “Healthy coping strategies, such as exercise, talking it out, journaling and spending time outside” are key. Also, she said, “Make self-care time daily and non-negotiable. And find daily uplifting experiences like spending time with family and friends, showing gratitude, and going to community events.” Her last word of advice? “Make self-care a priority. Remember that your needs are just as important as everyone else's.” This month and beyond, remember to be kinder to yourself and to take stress seriously. You and your loved ones deserve a life full of happiness and fulfillment – even on those days when traffic’s bad!
For more information about services offered at Trillium Place, please contact Trillium Place Access Center at 1(888) 311-0321.
Categories: Staying Healthy