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Overcoming cumulative stress

Overcoming cumulative stress

As our communities continue to cope with significant challenges, many of us may begin feeling the effects of cumulative stress. This can occur when your mind and body do not have a chance to recover from one event before another occurrence causes high levels of stress all over again.


As we process through recent high-stress events, reactions may include:

Physical symptoms: headaches, muscle tension, upset stomach, chest tightening and fatigue.

Emotional symptoms: sadness, anxiety or worry, irritability or anger, shock/numbness and restlessness.

Behavioral symptoms: decreased focused, forgetfulness, increased errors, withdrawal and outbursts.

It is important that we are aware of our stress levels and work to reduce them when necessary. When stress is left unmanaged, it can snowball and ultimately take a toll on our health, work and relationships.


  1. Take a breath. Taking time to pause, reflect and breathe can be a great way to manage stress and anxiety. A good method for deep breathing is 4-4-6. Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale through your mouth for 6 seconds. Practice this for at least 2 minutes. 
  2. Limit media consumption. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories and social media. While it’s important to be informed, constant updates and notifications can actually increase stress and anxiety.
  3. Take care of your body. Eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, get regular exercise and enough rest. Avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. 
  4. Talk to someone. It is a sign of strength — not weakness — to reach out for support. Continuum EAP professionals are available to provide free and confidential assistance to member employees and their immediate family members.


Stressful life events affect people differently based on their personal experience, so it is important to remain respectful of one another during these challenging times.  


Our Customers Say it Best

  • Hexagon Lincoln
    Hexagon Lincoln

    “Hexagon views Continuum EAP as a key business partner and a valued resource for our employee populace. Continuum provides high-quality — and confidential — educational and counseling services for “Team Hexagon.” The professional staff is always available and willing to help at a moment’s notice.”
    - Matt Becker, Human Resources Manager, Hexagon Lincoln

  • NebraskaLand National Bank
    NebraskaLand National Bank

    “Continuum has been such a great benefit for NebraskaLand National Bank. Once a month we offer employees a “Lunch ‘N Learn” where we feature a Continuum HelpNet webinar and provide lunch. We have received great feedback from employees and attendance continues to increase each month.”
    - Stacey Dawkins, Human Resources, NebraskaLand National Bank

  • Lincoln Electric System
    Lincoln Electric System

    “Continuum is a great resource for LES. They proactively provide workshops to address issues in today's work environment and customized on-site training. Their staff has been helpful and effective.”
    - Julie Panko Haberman, supervisor, Learning & Development, Lincoln Electric System

  • Duncan Aviation

    "We look to Continuum as a strategic partner, in helping our employees cope with stress at work and at home, which leads to improved work performance, decreased absenteeism, and greater workforce retention."
    - Leon Holloway, Team Member Services Manager, Duncan Aviation

  • Assurity Life Insurance
    Assurity Life Insurance

    "Continuum is part of Assurity's high performance culture. Trust has been created for associates who use their services for personal life issues but also for work issues whether they refer themselves or a supervisor refers them. Continuum's expertise demonstrated by all staff aligns to our mission and values and helps associates understand there are resources available for them and their families. The value the Assurity Team receives from Continuum is a measure of performance and risk management. I have worked with them for over 20 years and would choose them over the other two employee assistance programs that I have worked with."
    - Jan Zoucha, Assurity Life Insurance

  • NE State College System
    NE State College System

    "The Nebraska State College System has been very pleased with the services we've received from Continuum. Continuum's experience and expertise have served our employees and College administrators very well. Continuum is extremely responsive and skilled at coaching, consulting, and providing a variety of employee assistance services. In addition, our employee feedback from training sessions has been very positive."
    - Kristen Petersen, General Counsel & Vice Chancellor, NE State College System

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