The Dos and Don’ts of Managing Stress
By Kelly Ray
Feeling stressed can be crippling. It may make you want to stay in bed and hide away from the world and your worries. Or, in my case, stress is the reason why I grab three cookies for dessert, rather than just one. I am here to share with you everything I have learned about the best and worst ways to cope with stress.
Best Ways to Cope With Stress
Get some fresh air
One of the best things you can do when you are feeling stressed out, is to take a step out of that situation and find somewhere to just be. Focus on your breathing, how the wind feels against your skin and take a break. This will allow for you to go back to the stresses of your life with a clear and open mind.
Keep to a routine
Going through a really stressful day can be awful. The main thing that keeps me going throughout the day in a calm and orderly fashion is to stick to a routine. If you are someone who stretches right after getting out of bed, or if you always read a chapter from your favorite book before bed, continue to do it!! The most calming thing for me when I am stressed out is knowing that I have a routine.
Get out of your head
When I am feeling stressed, I constantly obsess over its’ cause. This is why one of the best things you can do while you’re stressed is to get out of your head for a while. Go for a run, do a session of yoga, or have an arts and crafts session. Do anything to take away your focus from what you are stressed about. By doing this, you are giving yourself a break to breathe and relax and you also will come back to the stressful situation with a clear mind.
Worst Ways to Cope With Stress
It may be tempting to grab a beer after a stressful day, however, drinking alcoholic beverages should not be your go to in stressful situations. If you are choosing to drink when you are stressed out, you are more likely to have more drinks in a shorter time span. This puts people in unsafe situations because with increased alcohol consumption comes increased impairment. If done consistently, drinking could also become your only coping mechanism for stress which creates a very unhealthy habit.
Staying in Bed
Another unhealthy way of coping with stress is to ignore the issue and stay in bed all day. There are too many times when I chose to stay in bed hoping that the issue would resolve itself. Most of the time, however, the stress has become an even bigger issue and I’m left with the fact that I wasted an entire day that I could have been using to help resolve the issue.
Focusing on the Negative
The last unhealthy coping mechanism for stress that I want to talk about it focusing on the negatives. It is far too easy to be stuck in a stressful situation and think about all the ways that your day sucks. Rather than focusing on why your day sucks, you could be focusing on ways to make the situation better. It could be as easy as to start of a to do list of this things you can do and do have control over.
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