Resources for Understanding & Managing Stress

When it comes to stress, it’s actually not all bad. There’s actually three categories of stress.

Some stress and anxiety are part of coping well with everyday life. Healthy stress gives us the impetus to get out of bed in the morning, stumble towards our caffeine source, and pass days in a relatively productive way, building our lives and relationships.

Prolonged stress, like a really challenging job or a difficult family relationship that just never seems to get better, is hard on our bodies and our mental health; however, with support and resources we can generally cope.

Toxic stress, like living through a pandemic while also juggling preexisting health issues, mental illness, isolation or unhealthy relationships, bearing a marginalized identity, or other chronic stress has the potential to impact mind and body long term, BUT these effects can be minimized by leaning into our social connections (or making a new supportive connection via a counselor or psychotherapist) and through finding ways to move, create, express ourselves, self-care, and play – even in the midst of intensely stressful times. 

Explore the resources below to find ways to both understand and manage stress:

4 Bullet Journal Layouts to Support Mental Health

Image of an open bullet jounal on a white background, pages contain mental health related templates.

Bullet Journal blogs and hashtags are filled with mental health and self-care focused templates, but are these layouts actually effective for maximizing the mental health benefits of a bullet journal? In this article, I explore existing research on how journaling and expressive writing can benefit mental health and, from that research, outline three ways to maximize the mental health benefits of your bullet journaling practice. Along the way, I’ll show you a few of my worksheets and resources that are perfect for adding to a bullet journal.

Anxiety Illustration: Spectrum of Anxiety Coping

Title reads, “Spectrum of anxiety coping Underneath, a spectrum is drawn. There is red on the extreme ends of the spectrum with labels. The red spectrum end on the left has text underneath that says, “Shaping life to avoid triggers.” The other red spectrum, on the right, has text underneath that says, “Self-harm via over-exposure.” Next to the red ends of the spectrum are orange and yellow blocks, with a green block in the middle labeled, “Growth Zone,” where the dial is.

Everyone has a different “default” way of coping with anxiety – and many of us will experience a shift from one extreme of the spectrum to the other at least once during our lifetime. While our culture praises the “brave” approach and shames the avoidant, the extremes of both approaches are equally harmful ways of avoiding the discomfort of being present to the tension of the middle ground. In this middle space – where we feel our fear but choose to tolerate some discomfort in order to grow – we inhabit our bodies, we have self-compassion for ourselves, and let ourselves experience the emotions inherent in doing things that are really, really hard.

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