Having a Stressful Day?
At times it can be difficult to manage the daily stressors in life – whether it’s the collection calls that keep on coming due to unpaid bills, fighting with a loved one, or trying to find a balance between your work life and your family life. The key to stress management is understanding that you are still in control of your own happiness.
Here are some tips on stress management to help get you started:
Avoid the stress trigger. Plan ahead. If you know traffic stresses you out, leave at least 20-30 minutes earlier than your average commute time and take the scenic route. If it’s your work life, don’t procrastinate. Give yourself ample time to complete a project (whenever possible) and prioritize your to-do list in advance. The same applies to your personal to-do list. Contrary to how you may feel, not everything has to be done TODAY! If it’s a person, it’s okay to avoid someone who causes you stress, whenever possible. Sometimes being able to say no is a beautiful thing.
Do something relaxing for yourself. Not all stressors can be avoided, but being able to disengage is healthy and gives you perspective. If you step away from your computer to go for a short walk at work, you might find that your mind is refreshed and you become more productive. Do something you enjoy – like getting a massage, listening to music, watching your favorite TV show, playing with your pet or reading a book after a long day.
Breathe. Figuratively and literally. Look at the bigger picture – will this all matter in a year? Will it matter in a month? Take one day at a time. Remember, you control your thoughts and this directly affects your stress level and your ability to cope with it. The old adage is true – “it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters”.
Exercise. An active lifestyle reduces tension and stress naturally. Exercising regularly increases the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. This production lowers the symptoms of anxiety and mild depression. It also improves your sleep, which can be interrupted by anxiety, depression and stress. Other healthy lifestyle changes like reducing the anxiety contributors caffeine and sugar, will help make you feel more relaxed.
Vent. If you’re still feeling stressed, remember it always helps to talk to someone. Simply venting to your best friend or a trusted loved one can make you feel like what has been looming over you, is a weight that has just been lifted off your shoulders. If you can’t think of someone to talk to keep in mind, Switchboard is always here to listen and can help you anytime. If you or someone you know is in need of support, or going through a crisis situation, please call 2-1-1.