Twenty Tips for Coping with Stress

  1. Work off Stress. Physical activity is a terrific outlet
  2. Talk to someone you really trust. Or use a hotline, for example the Samaritans
  3. Learn to accept what you cannot change.
  4. Avoid self-medication with nicotine, too much alcohol, coffee or tranquilisers
  5. Get enough sleep and rest to recharge your batteries. Hypnotics will rarely be necessary if you set about changing your lifestyle.
  6. Take some time out to play.
  7. Do something for others. (Those in the helping professions can overdo this advice)
  8. Take one thing at a time.
  9. Agree with somebody. Life should not be a constant battleground. Avoid entrenched interpersonal conflicts. Think of your coronary arteries instead.
  10. Manage your time better. You need a system that works for you not against you.
  11. Plan ahead. By saying no now, you may prevent too much pressure piling up in the future.
  12. If you are ill, don’t try to carry on as if you are not.
  13. 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.
  14. The answer lies with you. Nobody else can give you a less stressful life.
  15. Eat sensibly and exercise.
  16. 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.
  17. Don’t be afraid to say no.
  18. Know when you are tired and do something about it.
  19. Delegate responsibility
  20. Be realistic about perfection.

With grateful thanks to the wise and wonderful Dr Desmond Kelly.