Strategies to Cope with Stress
Everyone experiences stress to some degree and it is a normal part of the human experience that should be expected as we move through life. However, stress should not be overbearing, unmanageable or prevent us from functioning fully in daily activities. Whether you are struggling with stress or simply want to learn new ways to cope with stressful experiences, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Take care of your body and mind: stress and physical health are closely linked and it is not uncommon to see stress increase if we are not in good physical or mental health. Therefore, make sure you eat balanced meals, get adequate sleep, partake in exercise and try mindfulness or meditation.
Connect with others: talking to someone we trust or being part of a supportive community can help reduce stress. By sharing what you are feeling or talking through your concerns you will likely feel more at ease by receiving advice or simply voicing your struggles.
Adjust your schedule: It could be that your stress is due to not having enough time in the day. Evaluate your schedule and if you are working toward burnout try reducing your workload and adding an hour of unwinding time.
Avoid alcohol and certain substances: specific substances such as drugs, caffeine and alcohol can have effects that exacerbate stress. Although you do not have to cut out these things from your life, moderation is key. If you think these could be contributing to your stress try reducing your intake.
Seek professional help: If you feel that you are stressed all the time, can no longer function and are beginning to break down. Consider talking to your doctor or a mental health professional about what may be causing your stress and symptoms. It is possible that some solutions can be found to help reduce distress.