Discovering Tools to Assess and Manage Stress

Stress is part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. As healthcare professionals, we live under an umbrella of stress every single day. It’s not easy having someone’s health and well-being literally in your hands. But there are resources to help determine your level of stress, as well as information to help manage it effectively.

Stress is a part of everyday life. And although no one thing—or person—can eliminate it altogether, there are resources available to help manage it.

Just as physicians first diagnose a patient and then recommend a course of treatment, we must first understand how much stress is considered healthy in our own lives before we can begin to better manage it.

Stanford University recommends physicians take a stress test developed by Mental Health America in order to best determine their level of stress.

If you have five minutes or less, you can:

  • Breathe: Close the door and take some time for you. Take a few deep breaths: Inhale through your nose as you slowly count to five. Pause and slowly exhale as you count to five. Repeat.
  • Recover: Schedule strategic 30-second recovery breaks (or up to a few minutes) throughout your day. Stretch, call a friend, listen to music or meditate. Meditation can help manage stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and hypertension, and lower cholesterol. Try using a guided meditation.

If you have between five and 15 minutes, you can:

  • Move: Try a 10-minute walk outside or walk up a few flights of stairs (and back down), or do some simple stretches at your desk.
  • Prioritize: Make a to-do list. Determine one thing you can defer, delegate or eliminate from your list.

Additional resources to help manage stress

Learn how to take care of your mental, emotional and social wellness.

Check out these resources to help you prioritize your mental, emotional and social well-being.

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