WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU ARE STRESSED?
Stress adds flavour, challenge and opportunity to life. Without stress, life would be dull and unexciting. However, too much stress can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. Recurrent physical and psychological stress can diminish self-esteem, decrease interpersonal and academic effectiveness and create a cycle of self-blame and self-doubt. It is important for your health that you find the optimal level of stress that you can learn to manage effectively.
Stress is unique and personal to each of us. What is relaxing to one person may be stressful to another. One person may find “taking it easy” at the beach relaxing while another may find it boring. The key to reducing stress is identifying strategies that fit you as an individual.
1. GIVE YOURSELF SOME SPACE
If you start to feel that you’re getting stressed – take a step back. Give yourself some space, take some time every day doing something you enjoy and not thinking about anything else.
Impossible! Most people will claim.
Not so. Everyone has 15 minutes in a day that they can reserve for themselves. It might just be a walk round the block, a bit of gardening or a bath with the door locked and some earplugs in. The important thing is that you get the time to yourself for yourself. It is said that 15 minutes per day with absolutely no stimulation whatsoever is the best way to be stress free.
2. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
If your expectations of yourself are always sky high you will inevitably spend a great deal of time being disappointed and frustrated. Instead, be realistic in what you can achieve and celebrate success at every opportunity.
Remember that you are entitled to breaks and days off – take them. And make sure you get a reasonable amount of sleep.
Not taking on too much, accepting offers of help from others and doing one thing at a time are ways to prevent stress.
3. LEARN TO RELAX PHYSICALLY
Believe it or not, being able to relax your body is a skill. You must teach yourself to do it effectively and once you do, it can be a very powerful stress relief tool.
Relaxation is best done every day and at a time and place where you will not be disturbed.
People relax in different ways. For some, physical exercise is a way of relaxing. Try walking, running, dancing, or sport. Others may prefer to sit quietly and go through a relaxation exercise. Try different things to find what’s right for you. But try not to overdo it on the booze or other substances.