happens when we perceive an event as disturbing or threatening.

Feeling “stressed” or anxious can occur when:

  • you feel overwhelmed by responsibilities.
  • you experience loneliness or rejection.
  • you fear losing something important to you.
  • you experience an adverse natural event, or
  • you feel your safety or survival is threatened.

There is no way you can avoid stress completely. Ideally, you would stay between the yellow and orange range of the Bell Curve (25% – 75%).

If your “stress” is below 25%, it is likely it will be hard to motivate yourself to complete tasks.

When your stress level is above 75%, you will feel overwhelmed and unable to complete tasks.

So, the questions becomes…

How do you stay within those yellow and orange zones?

I typically suggest these techniques to start.

  • Take 5 deep breaths – inhale deeply down to your abdomen for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds and release for 5 seconds.
  • Learn to say NO. Whether at work, school or in your home life, it’s likely you are taking on too many tasks. It is helpful to figure out your priorities and limit the “yes” to 1 or 2 tasks that fit within those priorities. (Remember to think about the level of time and commitment required for each one.)
  • From there, it is about time management. Over the past 20+ years, I’ve learned people often forget to include sleep, meal prep and eating, and taking care of personal hygiene. From there include work and school commitments. Finally, you get to fit in any other activity.
  • Most of all, don’t forget to include time for self-care! If you don’t leave time to refresh and revitalize, you will get into that green tail of the Bell curve! When you are in the green tail, you can’t work at the optimal level.

Do you know what type of self-care works best for you?

Do you like to relax while engaging in a hobby?
Do you like to spend time with friends?
Do you like to pamper yourself?

Self-care if something you do for you. It does not fill either a “have to” or “should.” It is a “want to” or “would make me feel better.”

Feel free to reach out if you need some ideas of which types of self-care work best for you. Our phone number is 630.912.2908 or you can email

Have a low stress day!

Dr. Irgang
Dr. Lisa Irgang is a Clinical Psychologist and the Owner of Relationship Solutions Center. She provides a variety of services to meet her clients needs. Dr. Lisa has worked with people throughout Chicagoland, helping with adjusting to significant life changes, ADHD, Alternative Sexualities, Anxiety Disorders, Bipolar Disorder, Dealing with Chronic Illness, Depression, Low self-esteem, Parenting special needs children, Relationship concerns, and Trauma. She's a graduate of Argosy University Chicago and a Fellow at CLII - Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois.

Post a comment