All of us experience stress from time to time—from work, from our relationships, or from something else entirely. While stress cannot always be avoided, it can be properly managed—ensuring that it does not have an adverse mental health impact.
In order to manage your stress effectively, it is smart to have a stress management plan in place—to be ready for it, and to know how you will respond before the stress even arises.
Do you have a stress management plan in place? If not, we recommend talking it over with your therapist or counselor. In the meantime, here are some basic suggestions that we would recommend.
- Identify where some of your key stressors lie. As you go through your day-to-day and week-to-week activities, isolate the things that trigger the most stress, and make note of them.
- Start each day on a positive note. Spend a few moments doing yoga or practicing mindfulness in some form. Actively practice gratitude, as well, saying aloud three things you are thankful for at the start of each day.
- Stay organized. Keep a list of long-term goals and short-term to-dos, and use it as a guide during moments when you feel overwhelmed.
- Avoid reacting to a stressful situation in the moment; instead, pause and be thoughtful in reaching a true solution.
- Have a stress release activity you can turn to—physical exercise, journaling, singing, or some form of creative expression. Anything that helps you release physical muscle tension is especially useful!
- Have a list of people you can talk to when things get overwhelming—people who will just listen.
Stress is going to happen—but you can be ready for it. It all starts with a plan.