Twenty Tips for Coping with Stress
- Work off Stress. Physical activity is a terrific outlet
- Talk to someone you really trust. Or use a hotline, for example the Samaritans
- Learn to accept what you cannot change.
- Avoid self-medication with nicotine, too much alcohol, coffee or tranquilisers
- Get enough sleep and rest to recharge your batteries. Hypnotics will rarely be necessary if you set about changing your lifestyle.
- Take some time out to play.
- Do something for others. (Those in the helping professions can overdo this advice)
- Take one thing at a time.
- Agree with somebody. Life should not be a constant battleground. Avoid entrenched interpersonal conflicts. Think of your coronary arteries instead.
- Manage your time better. You need a system that works for you not against you.
- Plan ahead. By saying no now, you may prevent too much pressure piling up in the future.
- If you are ill, don’t try to carry on as if you are not.
- Develop a hobby. A profession or business can become an addiction and they need something to counterbalance them. Pets are less complicated than human beings and can help to combat ‘people pressure’ and loneliness.
- The answer lies with you. Nobody else can give you a less stressful life.
- Eat sensibly and exercise.
- Don’t put off relaxing. Use a stress reduction technique daily:
a. Progressive muscular relaxation enhanced by a cassette (CD/DVD) and possibly biofeedback
b. Yoga, but be careful not to become an orthopaedic casualty!
c. Transcendental meditation
d. Autogenic training or Slimnastics.
e. The Alexander Technique, if you are a professional actor, musician or have a bad back or neck.
- Don’t be afraid to say no.
- Know when you are tired and do something about it.
- Delegate responsibility
- Be realistic about perfection.
With grateful thanks to the wise and wonderful Dr Desmond Kelly.