Monthly Dose


Tips for managing stress from across the Inspire communities

Stressed man sitting at computer

If you are living with a health condition, one of the best things you can do is manage or limit your long-term stress. Why? According to the NIH, chronic stress may contribute to or worsen a range of health problems including digestive disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, and other symptoms. Stress may worsen asthma and has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.

But managing stress can be especially difficult for people with health conditions, which can often be an additional source of stress. Caregiving for someone else can also contribute to long-term stress.

Across Inspire, members share their best tips for managing or minimizing their stress levels.

To learn more about managing stress from people like you, start a post in your Inspire community. 

“Make sure you take care of yourself because stress isn’t good for [Lupus] flares. For me it’s meant saying no more often and feeling less guilt if I don’t want to be social. For the longest time I tried to keep up, but my body’s needs are different than they were before this thing…You have to find what works for you and also listen to your body.” Go to post

“For me I work 48 hrs a week and have no help. I very much enjoy shopping but it can be physically taxing when I am already so busy so I order groceries and pick them up. I had to learn that it’s ok if my clothes aren’t folded and there are dishes in the sink. Then always make sure you make a little time each week to do something you enjoy for me I like a nice hot bath and a mindless stupid tv show or movie. To avoid stress before it begins it is also important to learn to tell people no sometimes if that is something you struggle with.” Go to post

“Accept that it’s OK to feel like you have reached your limit and need some time to regroup. Start or revive a hobby – Express your feelings in painting, theatre, pottery, music, or whatever makes you happy! Exercise is a great stress reliever and a proven anti-depressant. Make sure you have a daily physical exercise plan of some type – even short walks will do you good. Build and use your support community – family, friends, co-workers, healthcare providers, and others that that you can call on to help you refill your energy supply. Make sure you are getting proper rest. Maintain regular sleeping schedules and take a nap during the day if you feel necessary.” Go to post

“I have a small circle of friends that we all check in everyday to make sure we are at least doing something for our self care everyday. I listen to my body and give myself permission to rest even when I’d rather be doing something more active. When my body starts feeling run down, I also look at how I’m eating. I cut out a lot of inflammatory foods when I was diagnosed but sometimes they will “sneak” back in. And I make sure I’m drinking enough water. I walk most days and make sure I stretch every day. I also journal several times a week. Finally I do some volunteer work with a couple of organizations which allows me to be of service to others and continue to build my community.” Go to post

Do you have a stress management tip that works for you? Share it in your Inspire community.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

– Malala Yousafzai