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Palliser Primary Care Network

Family physicians and health professionals serving southern Alberta

Prenatal Care Information

Read on for up-to-date information regarding prenatal care

Getting SMART about Managing Stress

It is safe to say that stress is no foreign topic to anybody this past couple of years. We all experience stress in our day-to-day lives but the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an additional strain on our mental health. This added stress can be dangerous over a long period and take a toll on our physical health (1).

In times of stress, the body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that increase your breathing and heart rate. An extended period of stress can keep these chemical levels high for a prolonged amount of time.  This can lead to negative effects on the cardiovascular system, digestive system, immune system, and muscular system (3).

It is important for us to be able to identify our stressors and come up with a plan on how we will to manage them. By managing stress, we become empowered and feel more in control of our life (2).

An effective tool for stress management and anxiety reduction is to create and use “SMART” goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

When creating SMART goals it’s helpful to define the duration of the goal, for example, fourteen days (T = Time-Bound). Make sure that the goal relates back to the big picture objective you have in mind, for example, managing your stress (R = Relevant). State how you’re going to accomplish your goal (S = Specific). Break the goal down into three actionable steps that you think you can accomplish (A = Attainable). Finally, determine a way you will track your progress in meeting your goal in your daily life (M = Measurable) (2).

SMART goals provide direction and help to create objectives. They help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.  They are incredibly useful in achieving goals by retaining one’s focus on the desired result, and can be a performance enhancer tool, as they identify the areas you need to improve. Monitoring your progress toward your goal can be a source of great satisfaction (4). When we have made goals that are easy to understand and implement, we can prevent the feelings of stress (2).

Sources

1.) https://www.myocarditisfoundation.org/stress-and-the-heart/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA47GNBhDrARIsAKfZ2rA4Qk77yycMOmKJWv7kykhZitfDI9-IgA1Sdg8idKd_172jO0uwRLwaAnsPEALw_wcB , December 5, 2021

2.) https://owlsandindigo.com/writing-better-goals-to-manage-stress-reduce-anxiety-to-take-control-of-your-life/, December 5, 2021

3.) https://www.relaxacare.ca/blogs/news/the-effects-of-stress-on-the-body?gclid=Cj0KCQiA47GNBhDrARIsAKfZ2rCbKJpSJAOuratYz3zCB0XMn5GhXeYwYsM-IxwroZ_-0Jk96ktlm80aApgOEALw_wcB, December 5, 2021

(4.) https://www.bachelorprint.co.uk/methods-concepts/smart-goals/ , December 5, 2021

 

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Seniors’ Centre Without Walls

A free phone-based seniors program for adults 55+.

Staying well during Covid

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Health Homes (Clinics)

A list of Palliser PCN health homes (clinics), contact information, and PCN physicians and teams in those locations.