What do headaches, stomach upset, insomnia, fatigue, overeating, anger, depression and loss of sex drive have in common? These are some of the symptoms pointing to the possibility of stress. Most would agree that this past year has been particularly stressful. The COVID-19 pandemic, financial strain, civil unrest, election issues, isolation and separation from family and friends—there are plenty of reasons why you may be experiencing stress. And, of course, the holiday season presents its own sets of challenges as well. At Medco ER & Urgent Care, we are available to help when this type of pressure is causing you to experience physical and mental problems.
“If you live a fairly stress-free life, then you’re in the minority,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Regional Medical Director, Dr. Tariq Vora. “We see a lot of patients who have conditions related to an overwhelming amount of stress in their lives. Anything you can do to lessen your stress level is going to benefit your body in the long run.”
What Stress Does To Your Body
When left unchecked, high levels of stress can raise your cortisol levels to an unhealthy level, burn out adrenals, cause high blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
“Stress is a great motivator in moderation, but too much stress can put undue strain on the body and cause all kinds of problems,” said Dr. Vora. “While it is impossible to eliminate stress completely from our lives, we can start to intentionally practice stress busters to try to help us cope.”
Stress Buster Tips
The #1 tip for relieving stress is exercise. You don’t have to do a full gym regimen to get some helpful exercise. Try going for a walk after a holiday gathering, spend quality time with family & friends, play ball with your kids or chase your pet around the yard. Stretching and flexibility therapies like yoga, tai chi, Pilates or qigong are also solid choices. If you already lead an active life, bump up the conditioning with even more challenging gym options.
Some other tips for relieving stress include:
- Hobbies – sewing, jewelry-making, comic collecting, video games, scrapbooking, book club, reading, cooking
- Art – freestyle drawing, painting, crafts, mandala coloring
- Play – with kids and pets
- Music – listen to favorite tunes, explore new genres, try movement with music
- Nature – birdwatching, hiking, fishing, swimming, picnic, photography, gardening, kayaking
- Friends – meet up for coffee, have a Facebook private group chat, talk
- Bicycle, scooter or skating
- Jokes – collect jokes, cartoons or memes you think are funny and share with others
- Meditation and prayer
When Stress Becomes an Emergency
Even with an arsenal of stress busting tips at hand, it is possible to become overwhelmed by the effects of the pressure. You may wonder if it is ok to come to the ER with stress-related problems. It is important to know that many urgent medical conditions might masquerade as stress but require prompt care. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons for which people visit the emergency room.
Warning signs that require immediate ER attention:
- Chest pains
- Jaw pain
- Back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Pain radiating down one arm
“Please do come to the ER any time you are feeling emotionally out of control or if you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be due to stress,” said Dr. Vora. “If you are feeling like harming yourself or others, or if you are in pain, we are always here to help. Our physicians and staff are very caring and understanding.”
Fast Help at Medco ER & Urgent Care
When you are feeling the effects of stress, or you aren’t sure what’s making you feel bad, the board-certified physicians at Medco ER & Urgent Care are ready to help. Open all day and night, every day of the year, Medco ER offers fast access to get the answers to your important medical questions.
- Plano: 3960 Legacy Drive on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road.
Call us @ 469-392-4000