19 Mar 10 Tips for Managing Stress in Healthy Ways
When discussing self-care we often refer to the ‘Airplane Analogy’– putting the oxygen mask on ‘you’ before the person next to you. In other words: ‘Take Care of Yourself First’ so there is more of you to give to everyone and everything else in your life that matters.
Managing stress begins with an awareness of the external and internal stressors in our lives and ’ Taking Care of the Self’ is the most important ingredient to managing stress effectively and gaining back a sense of control over our everyday lives
- Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
- Look after your health: exercise, eat healthy and get lots of sleep.
- Engage in spirituality – connecting with your spirituality or some higher belief system provides many with a source of comfort.
- Mind your Mind Attitude (Positive vs. Negative Thoughts). There are certain things that you cannot change – but by changing how you view things can make a big difference: ‘choosing’ to be happy is about how you ‘choose’ to arrange your mind!
- Journaling—write down thoughts stressful or otherwise/or each day complete the phrase ‘I am Thankful For’ or ’I appreciate’. Live in the ‘Now’.
- Become ‘Clutter Free’.
- Humour and having fun are great stress relievers. Listen to music, read and participate in other leisure time activities—sports, theatre, movies etc.
- Take vacations, mini vacations or even imagine yourself in a safe or peaceful place.
- Learn to set priorities and clarify boundaries: Take charge of your ‘choices’; try saying ‘No’. When you say ‘No‘, you are actually saying ‘Yes’; to yourself.
- Try to live life according to your values, priorities and what matters most rather than the “have to’s. It is helpful to use phrases like ‘Letting yourself off the hook’, ’Giving Yourself Permission To’,’Surrendering To’; and stop using phrases like ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘have to’.
It is helpful to understand that Stress is individual and therefore Stress Management is individual; there is no one way or right way of managing stress; we have to find our own unique way of managing the stresses in our lives.
It is also important to realize that Stress Management is ‘WORK’ and it needs to constantly be evaluated and reevaluated. However the good news is that the ‘work’ is only to be done in ‘baby steps’ as small changes can lead to the bigger differences.
We always have ‘Choices’ in our lives and stress management is about taking back control over those choices each and every day in order to lead to that healthier and more valued way of living.
‘Good Luck’ and ‘Good Choices’ as you continue this endeavour to create difference in your lives and to be the best stress managers you can be.