Published April 5, 2021
About three years ago, I found myself searching for a more rewarding career path. I was one year into my master’s degree and wanted to continue my work with a company whose mission gives back to the community. Luckily, after weeks of searching, I found SchoolCare. They were seeking a Marketing Communications Specialist who valued teamwork and innovation.
It was a perfect fit right from the start! Since then, I have felt proud to be a part of such a hard-working team that always puts members first.
Before working at SchoolCare, I didn’t fully understand how important it was to be an active participant in all my healthcare decisions. Factors such as establishing a communicative relationship with my doctor, utilizing the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), participating in the Good For You! Well-Being program and knowing how to access my EOBs at myCigna.com have all benefited my well-being and overall healthcare costs.
As someone with generalized anxiety disorder, alleviating stress is something I try to practice daily. However, the first step to relieve stress is identifying when you’re feeling it. When I’m stressed, I have a hard time quieting my mind and prioritizing tasks. There is an overwhelming sense of exhaustion without the ability to sleep, and sometimes rapid heartbeats followed by an upset stomach. These symptoms can hit instantly like a tidal wave or swirl me in unexpectedly like a whirlpool. No matter how stress takes shape, it can be hard to pull yourself back to shore into a comfortable mindset. However, I have found that with practice you can learn to break free and stay calm.
Even though everyone experiences stress, it can be difficult to share how you are feeling with others. Unfortunately, when things stay bottled up it can be difficult for others to understand what we’re going through.
When I’m stressed, I do my best to talk to my family, friends, and co-workers openly. Usually, they know just how to make me laugh and help me get back into a peaceful mindset. By viewing stress as an opportunity to connect and learn, I can better strengthen my relationships with others.
Alleviating stress in the moment is NOT easy. What works for me might not work for everyone. However, some of my favorite ways to relax when I’m feeling overwhelmed include:
Managing my stress long-term requires adapting to healthy lifestyle habits. This includes going to bed early enough to feel well-rested each day and eating healthy meals. I also try to meditate for 5 minutes each day when I’m feeling added stress. The more I nourish my physical body, the better my mind feels. Most importantly, I make sure to ask for help when I need it. If there is ever a time that I’m struggling more than usual, I don’t hesitate to utilize my EAP program or mental health resources available at myCigna.com.
Check out this article if you want to learn more about your behavioral health resources.
Whether my coworkers are stressed about work, family, or juggling life responsibilities in general, I try first to simply be a listening ear and let them know they aren’t alone. Once I understand what’s bothering them, it’s easier to suggest practical ways to work through it. If they are overwhelmed with work, I might suggest taking time to breathe and then write a to-do list. Breaking larger tasks into smaller pieces makes things feel more manageable. But most importantly, I would tell them not to be afraid to seek help whenever they need it.
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” ― Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember