Stress Looks Different For Everyone. Stress Management Should, Too.
Last Updated: 23 Apr 2021
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Here’s the thing about stress: it is an entirely normal human reaction.
For over half a century, Endeavors has passionately served vulnerable people in crisis through our innovative, personalized approach. We believe that building stronger families and communities starts with providing the tools and resources to encourage personal growth and empower people to build better lives for themselves. And believe it or not, one of the most significant factors that can contribute to or inhibit personal growth and empowerment is stress.
Here’s the thing about stress: it is an entirely normal human reaction. In fact, many times, stress can be a positive force that keeps us alert, focused, and ready to work harder or escape danger. But when stressors persist without long-term or periodic relief, it becomes what’s known as Chronic Stress, and we begin operating in a constant state of ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ that can really wear on our bodies, our brains, and our hearts.
What happens to the body when we experience stress?
Stress can manifest itself in multiple ways: Physically, Emotionally, and Behaviorally. Identifying the changes in your body, feelings, and behaviors caused by stress is a huge first step to stress management.
The body is not designed to operate in this high-stakes state of ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ for long periods of time. It is designed to experience moments or periods of this, but interspersed with periods of relaxation, or even complete relief. Stressful situations should not last forever. But when Chronic Stress does occur, it essentially breaks down the body’s ability to function at its best, or even normally. In other words: We start shutting down.
It might look like this:
- Aches and pains in your joints and muscles
- Chest pain or increased heart rate
- Exhaustion, trouble sleeping, or insomnia
- Headaches, dizziness, or shaking
- Increased blood pressure
- Muscle tension, including jaw clenching
- Stomach or digestive problems
- Trouble sitting still or having sex
- Weakened immune system
Many of the common mental health issues can be attributed to temporary stressors that have turned chronic. If we don’t have the time or means to address or eliminate these stress factors, it can lead to illnesses and/or disorders that can take a serious toll on us over time. This can include:
- Lack of motivation or inability to focus
- Difficulty getting out of bed
- Panic attacks
Stress can also make itself known through behavioral changes or compulsions. If you’ve been drinking or spending more time browsing the internet or online shopping during the pandemic, for instance, you’re not alone. Increased alcohol consumption and activities like internet browsing that offer a sense of instant gratification are both common behaviors sparked by stress. Other behavioral signs of chronic stress include:
- Overeating or the development of an eating disorder
- Compulsive gambling
- Smoking or drug use
- Compulsive sexual activity
Often when we experience intense chronic stress, we engage in one or some of these activities with a feeling that we can’t help ourselves. While some struggle with overeating, others choose alcohol or drugs- and these behaviors can have crippling effects on our health, our loved ones, our financial stability, and our professional security.
Identifying what is triggering or causing our stress is an important step in the journey to stress management.
How can Endeavors help with stress prevention, management, and relief?
Though each of our pillars — Community & Family Services, Caring For Veterans & Their Families, Emergency Services, and Migrant Services — includes holistic wellness programs for the people we serve, we offer several programs specifically designed to assist people living with short-term or chronic stress.
The Veteran Wellness Center At Endeavors
For Veterans and their caregivers or family members, Endeavors has built a one-of-a-kind Veteran Wellness Center in San Antonio. From mental health to physical health to holistic health, this beautiful facility will offer Texas Veterans myriad services to help them and their families deal with life after the military. And, in fact, it already is! Though the facility itself is scheduled to open later in 2021, our VWC team is providing fully virtual services to clients right now!
Here are some of the services we offer at the VWC to help our clients manage and prevent stress:
Client Educational Classes
Professional Development Trainings
Physical Health Services
Health Coaching & Screenings
Individual Exercise Equipment
Peer Support Services
|Holistic Health Services|
Mindfulness & Meditation Classes
Contact the VWC at [email protected] or 210-866-3860. Our teams are working remotely at this time, but we are available and ready to assist you and your loved ones in accessing the wellness care you deserve.
Supportive Housing In Texas & North Carolina
Mandy was a homeless mother who struggled with drug addiction and mental illness. By providing valuable tools and resources, Endeavors’ family housing program provided Mandy a safe, healthy, stable, and caring environment where her family could get back on their feet.
Veteran Supportive Services
Mental health care can only go so far when a person doesn’t have access to the resources they need to survive and live a healthy, self-sufficient life. That’s why every Endeavors program — including our Veteran Supportive Services — approaches client care holistically.
Endeavors’ VSS offices are located across Texas in Corpus Christi, McAllen, Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Lufkin, Killeen, Kerrville, San Antonio, Texas City, and El Paso. In addition to mental health services, our VSS case managers offer the following services to Veterans and their families:
Access to Substance Abuse programs
Skills & Parenting Workshops
Mental Health services & resources
Assistance obtaining VA benefits & services
Short-term emergency housing
Rental/utility payment assistance
Job Placement assistance
Click here to learn more about our VSS programs and contact our teams for assistance today.
The Cohen Clinics at Endeavors
Whether you live in San Antonio or not, Endeavors may be able to help with managing your stress at one of our three Cohen Clinics across Texas. Our Cohen Clinics are part of the Cohen Veterans Network — our partner nonprofit that serves post-9/11 veterans and their families through a nationwide system of mental health clinics — and are located in San Antonio, El Paso, and Killeen. At our Cohen Clinics, we prioritize the entire military family because we know that mental health never affects just one person.
Here are some of the services we offer at our clinics that are designed to help manage, reduce, and prevent stress:
- Telehealth Telehealth is a virtual therapy option that allows you to attend appointments in real-time through confidential, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing. It’s in-person therapy from the comfort of your home!
- Case Management
Our Case Managers can connect you to essential resources, including housing, financial assistance, legal services, employment, education, etc.
- Wellness Events
Our events calendar is always packed with regular and special activities designed to build positive life skills and encourage wellness. We invited Veterans, active duty service members, military families, and community partners to participate in our financial and employment workshops, caregiver and military informed care trainings, marriage management, couples cooking classes, women Veterans groups, Yoga, Tai Chi, and more.
- Support Groups
Our clinician-facilitated support groups are specially designed for Veterans, active duty service members, and military families. Topics include anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, art therapy, and anger management.
- Medication Management
We also have psychiatric nurse practitioners on staff who provide time-limited, evidence-based practices that serve individual adults, couples, families, and children. Diagnoses may include mood, anxiety, transition, adjustment, impulse control, conduct, learning, and mild developmental disorders, as well as PTSD.
We recently expanded our programming at the Cohen Clinics to serve active duty, as well as Veteran, military families. Click here to learn more about qualifying for low-to-no-cost care at one of our three clinics.
About Endeavors and Cohen Veterans Network
Endeavors is a longstanding national non-profit that provides an array of programs and services in support of children, families, Veterans, and those struggling with mental illness and other disabilities. Endeavors serves vulnerable people in crisis through innovative personalized services. For more information, please visit www.endeavors.org.
Cohen Veterans Network is a 501(c)(3) national not-for-profit philanthropic network of mental health clinics for post-9/11 veterans and their families. CVN focuses on improving mental health outcomes via a network of outpatient mental health clinics for veterans and their families in high-need communities, in which trained clinicians deliver holistic, evidence-based care to treat mental health conditions. The network currently has 19 clinics in operation serving veterans and their families across the country. Learn more about Cohen Veterans Network.