Stress is the body’s reaction to change and is a normal part of our life. Stress may be the result of changes in your relationships, finances, school, health, career, and family. There are many different types of stressors that can affect us and everyone experiences stress differently.
Enduring chronic day-to-day stress can have a negative impact on health and wellness. For instance, it can cause digestive issues, inflammation, a weakened immune system, poor sleep, anxiety, and sexual health issues.1
It’s important to be aware of when you become overstressed so that you can manage it appropriately. In addition to daily stressors, there are life events that can cause significant stress. Here are the top 5 most stressful life events and some tips on how to cope with each.
Death of a Loved One
Divorce or Separation
Divorce or separation from a spouse can cause major stress in your life. Although the decision to end the relationship could be mutual, both partners still need to deal with a host of issues while they move forward separately.
In addition to the emotional and mental stress, there are legal considerations that need to be determined such as child custody, finances, assets, and living situations.
Some tips to cope with a divorce or separation:
Accept your emotions and learn to let go: Ending a relationship can generate many feelings that are difficult to manage. You may feel a sense of relief but then feel guilty about feeling that way. You may feel angry and hopeless. Instead of suppressing these feelings, embrace them and let them go through you like a wave. Accepting your emotions has been shown to be effective in helping others move forward from their divorce.
Some tips to cope with a move:
Remember stress is a normal part of moving: If you’re moving into a bigger place or with your partner, you may feel like you’re supposed to feel excited and happy. However, moving can still be a stressful event even if it’s for a positive reason. Change is hard for everyone and accepting stress as a normal part of it can help you manage the move more realistically.
Plan ahead and stay organized: Give yourself plenty of time to plan your move. It takes longer than you think to label, sort, and pack your belongings. You may dread and want to procrastinate during the process; however, the earlier you start to plan your move, the less rushed and frantic you’ll feel on moving day.
Ask for help from friends and family: It can be helpful to have someone around while you’re packing and/or unpacking. Even if they don’t physically help during the move, they can act as a source of emotional support while you deal with the stress of moving.
Hire professional movers: If you are financially able to hire professional movers, it can help reduce the amount of work and stress related to packing, lifting, and transporting.