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Managing Chronic Stress

A chronically activated sympathetic nervous system keeps the body under constant pressure. At Lifeworks Occupational Therapy, we tend to see people who have spent decades or even a lifetime in these activated states. 

As Occupational Therapists, we are constantly assessing the factors that maintain an activated nervous system and creating strategies, routines, actions and practical solutions to reduce the effects of ongoing stress and distress. Each solution is created with individual differences, personal goals and an awareness of interpersonal relationships and the environment that surrounds each person. 

Solutions may include:

  • Finding meaningful and purposeful activities (occupations);
  • Creating a sensory environment that is soothing and nurturing;
  • Improving quality of sleep;
  • Reviewing ways we think about ourselves, others and our environment;
  • Building compassion and mindfulness into daily practices;
  • Eating well and consistently;
  • Ensuring healthy movement is an integral part of the day;  
  • Doing things that are enjoyable and build social interaction;
  • Creating ways to give back to others. 

In Occupational Therapy theory, the core concepts we refer to are: doing, being, becoming and belonging.

Annabelle is an experienced and certified Occupational Therapist who specializes in mental health. With over 20 years of experience in a variety of health-related settings, she has found her true calling in assisting people with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, autism, pain, and bipolar disorders. Annabelle is also a Certified HeartMath Practitioner, Registered Yoga Teacher, and trained in several therapeutic models, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Recovery Virtual Reality. In her free time, Annabelle enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, travelling, and spending time in nature.

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