Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Oh My!

Stress, Anxiety, Depression, oh my! These three stooges are like the three-headed sea monster whose heads come back doubly after chopping those suckers off. Get rid of one stressor, say an “aggy” ex, and along comes a tyrant boss and the installation of workplace cameras. Avoid the anxiety inducing laundry pile, a week’s worth of wrinkly shirts and towels just got added to it. Fall into the despair of depression, more darkness is sure to come.

Most of the time, our methods for dealing with discomfort are either only applied situationally, avoided altogether, or approached with a sense of helplessness and victimhood.

Let’s start with Stress.

Stress is an ever-present agent in life. It’s even necessary in order to help us build up those resiliency muscles and adapt to change. If we view every stressor as a new circumstance, we’re basically freaking out in the ring as if we’re learning the boxing basics for every new fight we have. Heck naw! You may not have fought this particular fighter, but you’ve fought. You know to tuck your chin, move your feet, expect a punch, and land a few of your own. At some point the bell rings and the fight is over. Win or lose, you’re more prepared to take on the next fight. Stress is exactly that. It comes as high work demands on Monday, relationship problems on Tuesday and Wednesday, a natural disaster on Thursday, and by the weekend it’s TGIF and Sunday night football.

Tip #1: Mindset determines how stressed you get. Tell yourself that any stressor you’re experiencing is only building you for the glorious road ahead. You’ve got this!

Tip #2: You’re not too cool to meditate. There’s way too much research backing the health effects of meditation, especially being able to manage stress, for you to bypass it.

Moving on to Anxiety…

Anxiety is everyone’s affliction these days. Consider how connected we are to being in constant communication and access to one another, and it’s completely understandable. Where’s the down time? Demands are ever present through texting, email alerts, social media dings, you name it. We’re constantly bombarded with messages of war, hate, scandal and conspiracy. Who wouldn’t be overcome with fear? Without good management skills it’s easy to seesaw between running back and forth to catch all the eggs before they hit the ground, and hiding in the bathroom at work, pretending to have another stomach virus. On one hand, you’re trying to deal with everything, and on the other, you want to deal with nothing.

Huddle! Here’s the game plan. You gotta put systems in place to manage your life.

Tip #3: Create a schedule and by God, stick to it! I don’t care that Sarah really needs that report that she sprung on you. You have your “whatchamajiggit” to complete between 11am and lunch. “Sarah, he’ll get back to you at 3pm when he has an opening.”

Tip #4: Disconnect from all pings, dings, and boop-boops at least an hour before you get in bed. It’s not that important! God forbid, you disappear today, all of those alerts and messages will float off into the ether with you. Nothing supersedes your ability to maintain health.

Tip#5: Block out negative messaging! That’s from the news, social media followers, friends and work frenemies. You don’t need that frog spit in your life. In addition to that, see Tip #2 and send me a thank you card later.

Now last but certainly not least………Depression.


Live long enough, you’ll experience it. Depression is a normal reaction to grief and loss, and doesn’t become clinically significant until it appears prolonged beyond the stimulus, while also deeply affecting your life in an adverse way. Depression is no joke, but there are things we can do and not do that either contribute to it or help us kick that sucker to the curb like a “Dutch” date. If we break depression down to its simplest form, it’s helplessness. We feel victimized and helpless. Something has happened to us or been taken from us and we feel helpless to do anything about it. This get’s tricky and tough to accomplish but again, it’s all about the mindset.

Tip #6: If you’re of the spiritual sort, the idea that nothing happens to you, but all things happen for you, is a mantra. We’re back at that strength-building, and into learning lessons in preparation for a greater-good. Iyanla Vanzant talked about how her daughter’s death was to teach her certain life lessons, which propelled her into the second wind of a successful career and life path as a spiritual teacher and healer. If you view life’s pain with purpose, it’s much easier to work through it and move toward joy.

Tip #7: Move! Somehow, you have to force your body into action.It’s very difficult to maintain negative emotions while you’re in motion, running, briskly walking, dancing, whatever. Just move.

Tip #8: Get you some sunshine! Open those curtains and blinds and let some light in. Better yet, get outdoors. Don’t dim the lights in your home until it’s time for you to go to sleep. Period!

Tip #9: Let it out! Cry if you need to cry and talk when you need to talk. Your emotions need the opportunity to manifest by leaving your body, so you can work through the pain. Holding negative emotions in will physically make you ill. Let it out.

Tip #10: Seek out and take in others’ stories of deep pain and the gift that later came from it. This will help you to seek out the meaning and gift within your own hurt.

These tips are by no means all-inclusive and definitely do not substitute as therapy or mental health treatment. If you find yourself unable to successfully deal with the stressors in your life, and you’re struggling to cope with anxiety or depression, contact a licensed mental health professional. They’re trained to assist you.

If you’re in the Baton Rouge area, check out my contact information and take advantage of your free 10-minute consultation call today.

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