The following are some tips on ways to handle every day stress:
- HALT – If you’re feeling stressed, pharm overwhelmed, triggered to revert to unhealthy coping mechanisms or to self medicate, HALT and reflect on how you are feeling. Are you hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Take the time to eat, advice sleep, breath, call a safe person, exercise, and/or write in a journal.
- Breath- Breathing is an obvious stress reliever but one we often forget. Take a few minutes to take 3-5 deep breaths from your belly, in through your nose and out through your nose or in through your nose and out through your mouth. This can be done anywhere and can reduce stress. Placing reminders in your car, at your desk and around your house will help you to stay mindful of your need to breathe. Take notice throughout the day, are you holding your breath? What is going on around you or within you to cause this?
- Move – Take a five to ten minute walk, stand up at your desk and stretch, move around your living space. Exercise and movement can help reduce stress.
- Thoughts – Are you obsessing on a person, place or situation? Is it causing you a great deal of stress? Every time that thought (s) pops into your mind visualize a giant red stop sign and silently or out loud say stop. Think of something that calms you, person, place or situation, after you say stop visualize that calming thought. It takes practice but over time it can help you to reduce obsessive thoughts and subsequently lower your stress.
- Often times self care comes last or not at all, you can suffer greatly because of this. If you are finding it difficult to take care of yourself perhaps therapy could help you to uncover the underlying issues behind this. Psychotherapy can help people to uncover, discover and discard old ideas, it is through this process that change can occur.
Remember you deserve to be happy, healthy and whole.