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Resource: 5 Tips for Reducing Pass Closure Stress

From longer commute times to reduced business, we’ve all been impacted by the Teton Pass Closure in some way.

It’s normal to feel a certain amount of stress around this significant change. You may: be more irritable; have trouble focusing; feel on edge, anxious, depressed, fearful, or angry; be remembering or thinking about other times you were stressed; have trouble sleeping; or be experiencing changes in your appetite. While pretty uncomfortable, these reactions are normal responses to stress. 

We’re here to help. Below are Five Tips for Reducing Pass Closure Stress (some of which you can do on your commute) and some important resources you can use to get more help if you need it:

  • Connect with the people you care about. It’s easy to feel isolated when you’re experiencing high levels of stress; to believe you don’t have time or aren’t fun to be around. However, we aren’t meant to do hard things alone. Spending time with your loved ones provides emotional support and helps you navigate the stressors you’re facing. As Kevin Hines says, “A pain shared is a pain halved.” Try carpooling to work, calling a friend on your drive, or meeting up with someone during your lunch break (remember to take a lunch break).
  • Make time to relax. We know, we know. Easier said than done. As much as you can, take a break and do something you love. Maybe it’s reading a book, watching a favorite show, taking a nap, or just sitting outside. Even a quick moment can be enough to recharge us for the day.
  • Find ways to practice mindfulness and gratitude. You don’t have to become a zen master or attend a yoga class to reap the benefits of slowing down. Simply noticing your thoughts and letting them go helps. Mindfulness and breathwork practices center you and help clear your mind of all the stress-related chatter. So does practicing gratitude. Naming the things you’re grateful for and keeping track of them by writing them down or actively thinking about them (maybe on your drive to work) helps shift your perspective. So try to find time to notice the good, take a few deep breaths, and let your mind focus on other, non-stress-related thoughts.
  • Set boundaries that allow you to prioritize what’s important to you. Now’s not the time to take on more projects. Say no to the things that overwhelm you and focus on your priorities where you can. It’s okay if your house is a mess or you don’t feel like cooking if it allows you to spend time in more fulfilling ways. As we say, 7/10 is still passing. So set small, realistic goals that can be broken down into manageable steps. And shorten your to-do list to what’s absolutely necessary. 
  • Take care of your body. Our brains and bodies are connected. When we’re stressed it’s easy to let healthy habits slide or be up in our heads a lot. So make sure you’re paying attention to your body. Eat when you’re hungry, get enough sleep and rest, and move your body daily. Try getting outside for a walk, a hike, or a bike ride. Connecting with nature, being around water, and looking out at the horizon have all been shown to lower our stress. Ask a friend to join you so you get some time with someone you care about.

If all this feels overwhelming, we’re here to help. We can make a plan with you, refer you to more self-help resources, or connect you with a counselor. If finances are a barrier, you may qualify for six free sessions through our Community Counseling Fund.

If your stress has become so high you are thinking about self-harm or suicide, call/text 988 or create a crisis response plan.

If you need additional resources or information regarding the pass closure, click here.

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