Get Healthy Carson City: Find healthy ways to combat stress

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This column addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Are you feeling overloaded or overwhelmed? Do you feel like you fall behind and have trouble keeping up? Do you worry about things often? If you answered yes to any of these, you may have too much stress.

People often associate winter with feeling down, but the summer stresses of having kids at home, planning vacations, and dealing with hot, uncomfortable weather can add up to a high-stress situation. While a little bit of stress can be good and act as a motivator for some people, too much stress can be unhealthy and can lead to a range of health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and sleep and digestive problems.

There are many ways to help reduce stress. First, don't think you have to tackle everything all at once. Sometimes, setting small goals and ticking them off one at a time can help you feel as though you are getting things accomplished, and can alleviate some of your worry about not completing tasks.

Also, remember that it's OK to say "no" to taking on too much at once. If you feel like you don't have the time or energy or resources to devote to a particular request, simply refuse, or offer to help if someone else will be the leader on the project. If you do happen to take on more than you can handle, remember it's OK to ask for help. Often, others are willing to contribute time and are just waiting for you to ask.

If you are already feeling stressed, there are things you can do to help yourself relax. Find a way to set aside a few minutes to breathe deeply and affirm that you are doing all you can. Also, take time away from your stressors to do something that you enjoy.

Some ideas for healthy stress relief activities include going for a walk, spending time with friends, or reading a book that you enjoy. Remember that participating in even moderate physical activity can be a strong mood lifter. This is because your brain releases chemicals called endorphins when you exercise, which can help you feel good.

Summer doesn't have to be stressful. Remember to take time to relax and enjoy all the fun this season has to offer. If you do start to feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and relax. Soon, fall will be here.

For more information about Health Department services, check out our website at or visit us at


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