Managing the stress of ‘everything else’

While the pandemic has been a significant source of anxiety, it is one of many stressors weighing on people’s lives. It’s the cumulative stress of “everything else” that is wearing us out.

“The usual strains of our daily lives impact us, then other things started coming at us full force,” said Pete Meagher, Ph.D., Clinical Supervisor of Rosecrance affiliate Connections Counseling. “When you add other stressors, it becomes harder to hold your defenses together, and that’s why we’re seeing so many people struggling with their mental health now.”

As a result, individuals who seek help are coming to Rosecrance with more serious cases. There is more trauma present, along with severe mental health concerns and substance use.

Treatment with caring clinicians provides a safe place for clients to explore thoughts and feelings that are weighing them down. Rosecrance’s programs equip people to manage emotions, build supportive relationships with peers, and develop skills to make decisions in tough situations.

Clients can take advantage of a full continuum of care to find the treatment plan best for them. It may mean time in a residential facility to regroup and refocus, or it may be occasional visits with a therapist or group at an outpatient location. Virtual meetings also are available.

If you want to build space to decompress into your life, Meagher suggests a focus on self-care. This includes taking time to sit and listen to yourself and those around you, engaging in an enjoyable activity, and minding basic needs like exercise, sleep, and diet.

For those who are inclined to spend significant time on social media, this may be a good opportunity to unplug. When seeking a healthy dose of knowledge becomes doomscrolling, take a break to focus on the things that you can control—close relationships and healthy activities.

Last, don’t keep struggles to yourself. Find a close friend, family member, or a professional counselor in whom to confide. Knowledgeable Rosecrance counselors are available to walk with you, and they can be reached at 888.928.5278.

“We’re culturally wired to be doers, but we’re human beings,” Meagher said. “That is all about being healthy in our own body, family, and community. By focusing on that, we can strengthen the tools to work through stressful times.”