Studies have told us that the first step in tackling stress is to become aware that it is a problem for you. The next stage is to make a plan to take control of the causes and effects of stress. Here are some practical ways to take control of stress.
Holiday – try to plan at least one each year with a change in activities and surrounding.
Open up – if your relationship is part of the problem. Communication is very important.
Work – is that the problem? What are your options? Could you retrain? What aspects are stressful? Could you delegate? Could you get more support?
Try to concentrate on the present. Don’t dwell on the past or future worries.
Own up to yourself that you are feeling stressed – half the battle is admitting it!
Be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t take too much on.
Eat a balanced diet. Eat slowly and sit down, allowing at least half an hour for each meal.
Action plans – try to write down the problems in your life that may be causing stress, and as many possible solutions as you can. Make a plan to deal with each problem.
Time management – plan your time, doing one thing at a time and building in breaks. Don’t make too many changes at once in your life.
Set priorities – if you could only do one thing, what would it be?
Talk things over with a friend or family member or someone else you can trust and share your feelings with.
Relaxation or leisure time each day is important. Try new ways to relax such as aromatherapy, reflexology or yoga. Relaxation exercises are described more fully below.
Exercise regularly – at least 20 minutes two or three times a week. This is excellent for stress control. Walking is good – appreciate the countryside.
Say no and don’t feel guilty.
Seek professional help if you have tried these things and still your stress is a problem.