Recovering from Cumulative Stress

Throughout life, you might experience periods where stress builds up over a long time. This might occur while in school, at work, or during certain life events. When dealing with cumulative stress, it’s common to feel overwhelmed and at a loss for what to do. Finding ways to relieve this stress is important. 


Whether you’re in the middle of a long-term stressful period or coming out on the other side, you need to give yourself time to relax. Your mind and body need a break from the stress you are experiencing. Relaxing can be as simple as taking a nap or sitting down for a while. However, you should also actively engage in relaxing activities. Examples might include painting, going for a walk, listening to music, or reading a book. Do activities that make you happy and allow your body to relax. If you keep pushing yourself too hard without relaxing at all, you can experience burnout and it can make your symptoms much worse.


Another important way to deal with stress is to allow yourself to detach from whatever is stressing you out. For example, if you are stressed out because of work then you need to purposefully take time away from work. When you’re at home, don’t check your email or answer work-related messages. Don’t engage in any projects or work-related tasks. Take your time at home to focus on being at home. Spend time with those you love and do activities you enjoy. Apply these same principles to whatever causes you stress. Don’t let it constantly consume your mind or your life. Give yourself breaks and allow yourself to detach from it regularly. 


Cumulative stress can lead you to feel like you have no control over your life. You can feel weighed down and overwhelmed. To help you combat this, you need to find ways to give yourself more control. You might not be able to control your situation, but you can control other things. For example, you can take control by learning and mastering a new skill. You can choose how to spend your time when you’re away from work or school. You can choose what to eat or what to wear. Start by making a list of the things that you are in control of and this can help you to feel more in control overall. 

As stress builds up over time, it can make it harder to overcome it or deal with it. Taking small steps each day can help you to feel more relief and begin to deal with your cumulative stress. In addition to taking steps on your own, it’s also worth it to reach out for help when needed. 

Stress can often be linked to depression. Click here to learn more and explore potential treatment options.