Mental Health Matters: Ways to cope with daily worries
Worrying is not always an unhealthy practice as the feeling can help us make plans and prioritize safety, but too much of it can begin to negatively impact our personal and professional lives.
Signs of excessive worrying include being overly critical of ourselves and others, thinking obsessively about an issue, having trouble sleeping, imagining worst-case scenarios, feeling incapable of making decisions, experiencing physical sensations like a churning stomach or headaches, and feeling a lack of self-confidence.
To better manage your worries and keep them from transitioning into excessive anxiety, try incorporating the following practices into your life.
Start small. You do not have to cross off everything on your to-do list at once. Break a task into smaller pieces and set a goal of accomplishing one step. This can help you move forward even when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Practice acceptance. You can control some things in life, but many situations and concerns will be out of your control. Learn to recognize which ones you do have power over and practice coping with the rest. For example, if you hear something upsetting in the news, take time to practice self-care and step away if you need to.
Take a holistic approach. The mind-body connection is a powerful one. Try exercising, meditating, eating healthy meals, and maintaining a regular sleep schedule to decrease tension and anxiety.
Rely on others. You are not alone. Schedule time to talk with a trusted friend or relative each day, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes. Feeling connected by venting or chatting with others can help you manage and soothe your worries.
Recognize your thought patterns. Worrying can lead us to jumping to conclusions or assuming the worst. Practice recognizing when your thoughts are shifting to excessive worrying so you can better manage and disrupt those thoughts. Incorporating affirmations or words of encouragement into your daily routine could be a good place to start.
Schedule a short time to worry. It sounds counterintuitive, but setting up a regular time to address your concerns can be a helpful coping tool. Once those 10 minutes are up, move on with your day knowing you already gave thought to the issue and potential solutions, or simply expressed your feelings.
If you need additional support, take advantage of Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by LifeWorks, which is free for employees, 100 percent confidential, and available to all employees and their dependents.
Sessions through the EAP are available by phone, virtual, and in person. Employees can also find tips, articles, self-assessments, and topical features focusing on specific EAP resources available through the EAP smart App.
To start on your wellness journey please visit dallasisd.lifeworks.com or reach out to the EAP by calling 972-925-4000 and selecting option 3 for EAP.