Mental Health Series

Coping with Stress and Anxiety

May 2023

Connie Hill

Head of Data Science

You know what they say, adulting is hard, and stress and anxiety are the perfect reminders of that. Whether it's financial woes, workplace drama, or just trying to keep up with life's demands, stress and anxiety can really take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. As someone who's had more than my fair share of melt-down moments, I've picked up a few tips and tricks to help manage the stress and keep those pesky anxiety gremlins at bay. So, grab a coffee, and let's dive in!

Give Yourself a Break

Listen, I'm all for hustling and grinding, but sometimes you just need to take a breather. Whether it's binge-watching your favorite show or taking a nap (yes, naps are still okay), give yourself permission to unplug and recharge.

Find Your People

Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people can make all the difference. Whether it's your work bestie, your brother, or your childhood BFF, lean on your squad when you need a boost. And remember to pay it back to them; when you help your friends through their dark moments, it's like a magical boomerang of good vibes. Who knows, their struggles might just be the catalyst for your own personal growth and enlightenment.

Calendars and Label Makers are my Jam

Creating a schedule and setting realistic goals can help reduce stress levels and increase productivity. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you can check something off your to-do list. Find what works for you to keep your space in order (and yes, you can define what organized means to you). Personally, I have an affinity for sorting things into baskets and labeling them. At the end of it all, my workspace reflects my headspace – keeping my desk free of clutter makes things feel a little less Armageddon-ish.

It’s Okay to Not Be Everything to Everyone, Everyday

I wish I had learned this one sooner – Don’t overcommit and set yourself up for failure. Be honest with yourself about what you can realistically accomplish and when it can be done. And it's perfectly okay to communicate that to those bidding for your time. Politely let them know that your schedule is not a magical vortex where tasks disappear. They'll survive, I promise.

Let it Out

Sometimes, you just need to vent. Find a trusted friend or family member who will listen and not judge. Or, if you're like me, punch a pillow like it owes you money. In all seriousness, remember #2 above – find your person and talk it out. My friends offered up that therapy couch, and through a good conversation, they helped me find my center. I know my pillows appreciate them.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help

Look, sometimes things get tough, and it’s okay to admit that you need a little extra help. You wouldn't try to fix a leaky faucet without a plumber, so why should you try to fix your mental health without a professional? Plenty of mental health resources are available, from therapists to pastors, to support groups to hotlines, and there's no shame in utilizing them.

Stress and anxiety are normal responses to life's challenges, but they don't have to define us. When your stress meter is peaking, take a deep breath (or two) and remind yourself that these pressures are just temporary visitors in our lives, not permanent residents. With a little help from our friends (and maybe a calendar or label maker), we can conquer life's challenges one step at a time. Even superheroes need a break sometimes. So go ahead, take off that cape, grab a drink, and relax. You've got this!

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