The first step in managing stress is to acknowledge that it exists.
If possible, remove yourself from the stressful location or situation and find a quiet space.
Take a deep slow breath, take another one, and another one. Try to clear your mind of all thoughts, and bring yourself to the moment. A clear mind can help you identify what is causing your stress, which will help you to manage the reactions, feelings and the situation.
This can be helpful in stopping the overwhelming feelings in their tracks. Emotions pass, stressful or painful feelings may at times feel like they will take over and will never leave, but they do and will.
Here are some practical tips for managing stress and maintaining your health and staying resilient:
Talk to someone you trust
Talking is a great way to get some perspective, and helps release upsetting or negative feelings from remaining hidden inside. Talking can help you or someone you know feels much better. Having someone to listen to you, or you to them reinforces that you are cared for and are valued.
Take up regular physical exercise
Regular physical exercise produces a chemical response that triggers positive feelings. Physical exercise will help you feel good about yourself. As well as helping your body to stay healthy, you will also help your emotional wellbeing. You can share time and yourself with others or do this on your own as a way to help clear your mind. Physical activity may even help to vent your frustrations from a person or situation and may help promote better sleeping habits.
Try to eat a healthy
A well-balanced diet can play a big part in your emotional wellbeing. Certain foods and consuming not enough or too much can impact on your health and wellbeing. Try to limit caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol as these can contribute to feelings of anxiousness and discourage sleep, and may adversely impact on your overall health.
Find time to do activities you enjoy such as:
- spending time with family and friends
- reading, writing or listening to music
- participating in games, sports or hobbies
- traveling, going out or sightseeing
- practicing relaxation techniques
Doing the activities you enjoy can help remind you of the wonderful things in life, as well as helping you to recharge your mind and body. These are important for achieving balance at times when life may appear to be getting out of balance. Whether activities are solitary or with other people, they will encourage self-discovery, create times when you can escape your problems and help you engage with others.
Have a health check
Your doctor can check your physical health and general wellbeing for any negative signs that stress may be causing. Your health professional’s perspective can help you understand what you need to look out for and nurture more.
Seek urgent medical assistance if you are experiencing loss of energy, lack of sleep, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, distress or any other negative physical symptoms over a period of two weeks.