Take a moment and close your eyes. Think about all of things that cause you to be stressed. Now, open your eyes and take a deep breath and close them again. This time, imagine that you have no care in the world. In fact, you are walking down the beach, the waves are touching your feet, and the water is perfectly fine.
Many people who encounter stress are taught how to manage their stress. The techniques mentioned above are a few stress relieving exercises. However, what do you do when your entire living situation is a stressor? You are not given the option to walk down the beach. How do you manage the stress of life?
On September 1, nursing students from the University of Alabama at Birmingham visited Pathways and addressed this very topic to homeless women visiting the agency’s Day Center.
The students began their health talk by defining stress. They identified common stress factors, triggers, and when stress is most likely to occur in women. They showed how stress can be good and bad and explained to the guests how to deal with stress.
The presentation concluded with an open discussion, which allowed Day Center guests to ask questions, give personal examples, and share their personal tips on how to deal with life’s stressors.
After the presentation, the UAB students eased some of the guests’ stress by treating them to manicures. “Sometimes it feels nice to be pampered!” said Sharon Hamilton, the students’ instructor.
Janis Evans is the Volunteer Coordinator and Development Assistant at Pathways. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.