If you find yourself dealing with overwhelming stress, there are some things you can do to help cope. Here are 4 ways to deal with bad stress.
1. Take care of yourself
It starts with being your own best ally. Get enough sleep, eat healthy, get exercise. It might take some time, effort, and planning but investing in yourself physically will help lower stress and improve overall well-being.
2. Take a Daily Vacation
Pick something you enjoy doing – going for a walk, having coffee with a friend, or taking a hot bath – and set aside a little time every day to do it. We call that the ‘Daily Vacation.’ Even if it’s just five minutes, your Daily Vacation is a time for you to relax, set aside your worries and fears and just be present in the moment. Try not to let anything intrude on that time. It’s amazing what even a little break from stress can do.
3. Talk to other people
It usually helps to share your problems and talk about how you’re feeling with friends, family, your doctor or other people close to you. Remember that much of the difference between good and bad stress is what we make of it. So, if there’s someone who can give you a bit of context, can help lighten your load, or will just listen when you need them, don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
4. Make a plan
We have a tendency to avoid or procrastinate on the things that are causing us stress. But when we do that, it can often result in feelings of guilt or self-blame, and ultimately, more stress. Make a plan, take a deep breath and then take the first small step. And then the next small step.
Remember the best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Choosing one small goal you can achieve starts the process of change and lays the foundation for further change. That’s how positive change happens – by moving forward in a simple, practical way.
The size of the step doesn’t matter. It’s taking the step that counts.