How To Deal With Stress!
Last week, my blog was on stress, something we all experience, something that can be good and bad.
What happens when it is too much and we are overwhelmed? Below are ways to cope with stress.
1. Stop it before it starts – learn to say “no”. Many people, women in particular, want to be kind and helpful and take on more than they can handle. Learn to recognize when you have enough on your plate and say “no”. Also, make things easier on yourself – buy something for a pot luck instead of making it.
2. Take something off of your plate – Okay, you didn’t say “no” and now you have too much to do and you are overwhelmed. Take a good look at your life and to do list and prioritize things. Whatever is least important may have to drop off the list.
3. Get sleep – this is a hard one to do if you have too much on your plate but try to get 8 hours of sleep per night – start a calming bedtime routine which includes breathing exercises, gentle stretches and maybe even meditation to ease you into a good night’s sleep
4. Get exercise – any exercise will do. Some people need the calm of yoga, others need the intensity of boxing to get the stress out and others need things like rock climbing or mountain biking that require full focus so they cannot think about what is stressing them.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
6. Seek emotional support – whether it is from a spouse, family member, friends or a professional. Talking about anxieties and having a sympathetic ear can really help to lighten the load.
7. Avoid drugs and alcohol – they may be a temporary fix but in the long run can lead to other problems.
8. Breathe - When we experience stress, our breath becomes short, rapid and erratic. The next time you feel overwhelmed or anxious, stop and breathe deeply. Take deep breaths of air in through your nose and out through your mouth. Your heart rate will slow down and you’ll feel better able to cope.
Above all, be kind to yourself.