Stress Management - Ways to Avoid Stress
Stress is a
part of life, and you can't always avoid it. But you can try to avoid
situations that can cause it, and you can control how you respond to it. The
first step is knowing your own
coping strategies. Try using a
stress journal to record stressful events, your
response to them, and how you coped.
After you know what is
causing your stress, try making some changes in your life that will help you
avoid stressful situations. Here are a few ideas:
Manage your time
Time management is a way to find
the time for more of the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide
which things are urgent and which can wait. Managing your time can make your
life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful. For more information,
Stress Management: Managing Your Time.
Look at your lifestyle
The choices you make
about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause
stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it. Try
Find a balance
between personal, work, and family needs. This isn't easy. Start by looking at
how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don't need to do at
all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays. For help,
Have a sense of purpose in life. Many people find meaning through connections with family, friends,
jobs, or volunteer work.
Get enough sleep. Your body recovers
from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping. For more information, see:
- Insomnia: Improving Your Sleep.
Adopt healthy habits.
Eat a healthy diet, limit how much alcohol you drink, and don't smoke. Staying
healthy is your best defense against stress.
moderate exercise, such as taking a daily walk, can
Support in your life from family,
friends, and your community has a big impact on how you experience stress.
Having support in your life can help you stay healthy.
means having the love, trust, and advice of others. But support can also be
something more concrete, like time or money. It can be hard to ask for help.
But doing so doesn't mean you're weak. If you're feeling stressed, you can look
for support from:
- Family and friends.
or people you know through hobbies or other interests.
professional counselor. (See
tips for finding a counselor or therapist.)
- People you know from
church, or a member of the clergy.
- Employee assistance programs at
work, or stress management classes.
- Support groups. These can be
very helpful if your stress is caused by a special situation. Maybe you are a
caregiver for someone who is elderly or has a chronic illness. For more help,
Change your thinking