10 Stress Busters You Can Do
Stress will always be a part of our lives. Going to school, starting a new job, marrying, raising a family, being promoted, experiencing change or loss, growing old, facing illness or death all have degrees of stress related to them. Avoiding unnecessary stress, learning to manage the stress we can't avoid, and learning to control our harmful responses to stress are all important. Here is a list of tips that can help you get started:
- Try not to "self-medicate" with tranquilizers, sleeping pills, diet formulas, alcohol or over-the-counter medicines. Covering problems in this way can make the stress even worse.
- Do something just for yourself. A trip to a ball game, to your hairdresser or barber, or having a therapeutic massage can do wonders when you are under a lot of stress.
- Try to maintain a reasonably nutritious diet, and eat at least one hot meal each day. Good nutrition is important for a variety of reasons, including providing your body with the fuel it needs to deal with daily life.
- Share how you're feeling with a family member, friend, health care provider, or clergy. Find someone that you trust and who will listen to you. There is an old saying that "A joy shared is doubled and a sorrow shared is halved."
- Make time for some physical activity every day, and it doesn't have to be strenuous. Walking for 30 minutes can improve both your physical fitness and your sense of emotional well-being.
- If you are a smoker, try to stop. Smoking and stress are a dangerous duo. Your EAP Counselor can help you find a smoking reduction or cessation program.
- If you are a coffee or cola lover, try to cut down on these and other drinks that contain caffeine, especially in the afternoon. Try to avoid caffeine altogether for a few hours before bedtime.
- Get around 7 1/2 - 8 1/2 hours of sleep each day. Sleep helps the body to stay healthy and strong.
- Use hobbies, socializing with friends and family, meditation, and/or soothing music to help de-stress, relax, and enjoy your time.
- We've all heard the adage "laughter is the best medicine". Well, it certainly is good medicine! Laughing releases chemicals in the brain that improve our mood and help us to relax. Get together with friends who make you laugh. Watch a funny TV show, movie, or online video, preferably with friends. Try to not take yourself too seriously, and learn other ways to laugh your stress away.
If you are concerned about your level of stress, or just want to talk about more ways to relax and de-stress, contact your EAP Counselor to set up an appointment.