Lesson 12 of 17
In Progress

Coping With Stress

SCFA_Coach October 13, 2023

Preventing and managing stress can help lower your risk of serious health problems associated with SCD. You can prevent or lessen stress by:
ƒ Planning ahead.
ƒ Preparing for stressful events.

Some stress is hard to avoid. You can find ways to manage stress by:
ƒ Recognizing when you feel stressed.
ƒ Taking time to relax.
ƒ Getting active and eating healthy.
ƒ Sharing your feelings with friends and family.

What Are the Signs of Stress?
When people are under stress, they might feel:
ƒ Worried.
ƒ Irritable.
ƒ Depressed.
ƒ Unable to focus.

Stress also affects the body. Physical signs of stress include:
ƒ Headaches.
ƒ Back pain.
ƒ Problems sleeping.
ƒ Stomach upset.
ƒ Weight gain or loss.
ƒ Tense muscles.
ƒ Frequent or more serious colds.

What Causes Stress?
Stress often is caused by some type of change. Even positive changes, like marriage or a job promotion, can be stressful. Stress can be short term or long term.

Common Causes of Short-Term Stress
Having too much to do and not much time.
Having lots of little problems on the same day (like encountering a traffic jam or running late)
Getting lost.
Having an argument.

Common Causes of Longer Term Stress
Relationship issues.
Death of a loved one.
Caring for someone who is sick. ƒ
Problems at work.
Money problems.

What are the benefits of managing stress?

Managing stress can help you:
Sleep better.
Control your weight.
Get sick less often and heal faster.
Lessen neck and back pain.
Be in a better mood.
Get along better with family and friends

Take Action!

Being prepared and in control of your condition will help you feel less stress. Follow these six tips to prevent and manage stress.

Plan your time—Think ahead about how you are going to use your time.

Write a to-do list and decide which tasks are the most important. Be realistic about how long each task will take.

Relax with deep breathing—Take part in deep breathing activities or yoga classes.

Relax your muscles— Try stretching or taking a hot shower to help you relax. Stress causes tension in your muscles.

Get moving—Plan physical activity to help prevent and manage stress. It also can help relax your muscles and improve your mood. Before you start, be sure to discuss any new exercise routine with your doctor.
ƒ Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (e.g. walking or biking).
ƒ Be sure to exercise for at least 10 minutes at a time.
ƒ Do strengthening activities (like sit-ups or lifting weights) at least 2 days a week.

Share your feelings with friends and family—Tell your friends and family if you are feeling stressed. They might be able to help.

Get help if you need it—Find help if your stress doesn’t go away or keeps getting worse.