Self-Awareness to Regulate Stressors

We are now well into the school year, and everyone has a different scenario–in-person, hybrid, virtual and some teaching one way while their own children are learning a different way. The new “now” is, no doubt, filled with some level of stress for many if not all of us. While there are many aspects we can’t control about our unique situations, there are fast and easy ways we can at least manage our situations and ward off some of the stress we may be experiencing.

What are some signs we can look for that may indicate the various manifestations of stress?

  • Emotional distress might show up looking like anger or anxiety.
  • Personal stress often results in isolating behavior and striving for unobtainable perfectionism.
  • Physical complaints like headaches and stomachaches are often the result of the physical toll of stress on your body.
  • At work, signs of stress might be not wanting to return email or avoidance of tasks.

Most, if not all, parents and teachers I have talked to in the past few weeks returning back to school have reported feeling overwhelmed and exhausted – both indicators of stress overload. While some stress is tolerable, chronic or exaggerated stress is not. It makes it really hard to think clearly, respond patiently, and feel good in general. Identifying indicators of distress is the first step to alleviating stress.

We have created a worksheet for you to use. The downloadable worksheet to identify any distress signals your body is giving you in each of the four areas. These four areas include emotional, personal, physical, and work.

This is a must – you have to identify distress be able to help reduce it. Stress shows up in symptoms, reactions and behaviors.

Download the Self-Awareness Worksheet

Need a quick activity to help anchor you in your awareness? It starts with breathing! Below, my colleague Erin Madden Reed explains both the importance of breathing, as well as how to approach breathwork for children and adults.

Learn more breathwork activities and other regulating exercises for all ages in Starr's Mind Body Skills: Activities for Emotional RegulationDownload a free sample below.

Learn more with these offerings from Starr Commonwealth

By Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW

Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, Chief Clinical Officer, oversees all clinical operations and research at Starr Commonwealth. Dr. Soma provides trauma assessment and trauma-informed, resilience-focused intervention for youth utilizing evidence-based practices, including Starr’s SITCAP© model programs.

About Starr Commonwealth

Starr Commonwealth is dedicated to the mission to lead with courage to create positive experiences so that all children, families, and communities flourish. We specialize in residential, community-based, educational, and professional training programs that build on the strengths of children, adults, and families in communities around the world. To schedule a training or consultation, please contact or call 800-837-5591.