Coffeepot Chatter: Don't Stress Out!

You are here

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Maria: April is such a crazy month. I have so much to do here, both of my kids play spring sports and I still need to finish my taxes. I feel exhausted all the time and yet I can’t sleep at night.

Tom: Maria, I think you need a vacation.

Maria: That’s not happening till June.

Harry: Do you have strategies for coping with the stress you are under right now?

Maria: Oh yeah, it’s called packing as much in each day as I can handle.

Tom: Do you still go to yoga?

Maria: I haven’t in weeks.

Harry: I’m no expert but that hour or two a week may help you sleep at night. Have you looked at the information on dealing with stress on our employee assistance program website,

(Maria shakes her head no.)

Tom: Good idea. Excellent stuff there – I’ve looked. I’ll show you at lunch. Meanwhile, how about a cup of herbal tea?


Too Stressed To Sleep?

Sleep deprivation is rampant in the United States. Experts agree that almost no one is getting enough of those all-important hours of slumber. And it’s probably the most important thing we can do to alleviate stress and prevent illness. According to a recent article from the National Institutes of Health:

“Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies,” says Dr. Michael Twery, a sleep expert at NIH.“It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure and cardiovascular health.”

Maria is stressed out, which makes her unable to sleep. Lack of sleep is making her stress even worse at work.  What can she do?

MyStress Tools

Last month, we introduced Integrated Behavioral Health’s MyStress Tools website, which is available to all Lehigh faculty and staff.  Maria’s colleague Tom recommends she check it out, and we suggest you do as well. It’s a great way to fit stress management into your schedule. The videos, webinars, and podcasts can all be viewed on demand, so finding time in your already busy day shouldn’t add to your stress load.

Upcoming Stress Workshop

If you’d like some in-person advice about managing stress, you’re in luck. Ryan Morgan, PsyD., Senior Clinical Care Manager from IBH, will be visiting Lehigh on May 16 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.  to offer a seminar on stress management. 

Dealing With Stress: Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers is a presentation Ryan offers based on the book of the same name by Robert Sapolsky. In the workshop, you’ll:

  1. Increase your knowledge of the sources and consequences of stress.
  2. Increase your understanding of how intense and/or chronic stress increases the likelihood of illness, impair our work productivity and impact our emotional, mental and behavioral well-being.
  3. Learn and practice some practical, easy and fun stress-reducing techniques.
  4. Review the various resources available for free on the IBH WorkLife website.

To register for the session, go to the HR Registration Tool and select the IBH Stress Management event.