Friday, January 17, 2020

Healthy Coping Mechanisms For Stress

Stress can be damaging to us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Over time, when it goes unchecked and levels aren't lowered, stress can lead to heart issues, strokes, depression, anxiety and more. So it is essential that we all build healthy coping mechanisms in our lives. 

Rest

Rather than focus on getting to sleep, it is better that we focus on resting. Dr. Steve Orma says that when we focus on trying to get to sleep, our brain is actively checking if we are asleep yet. Which then keeps us awake. So create an evening routine that gets you ready to go to bed - and enjoy some rest. 

Switch from coffee to caffeine-free chamomile tea. Warm oaty porridge can help too. Try to switch the telly off and try reading a few pages from a book to help your mind switch off for a while. Instead of using your phone to scroll through social media, try listening to the Calm app. They have a range of sleep stories and meditation that can help you unwind. 

Projects

Aving projects that take up your time can mean that you are well occupied and not dwelling on things. You might choose to do some redecoration projects, or perhaps learn a new instrument. Something that you have to dedicate time, your mind and hands are ideal. Plans can give us a sense of purpose and satisfaction when we manage to reach our goals. 

Time

When we feel rushed or like we haven't got control over our own time, stress levels can begin to rise quite quickly. Two of the main points of the day can be bedtime, and first thing in the morning (more typically for school-going families). Or, the daily commute to work in rush-hour traffic. Consider the areas of your day that time seems to be an issue. How can that be tackled? 

Getting up and out earlier is an obvious answer but doesn't always work out. Prepping things the evening before like overnight oats, the school lunch, and lining up the shoes in a row. Small, simple changes can save you minutes on a tight schedule. 

If you like the idea of getting your time better managed, that can even be your project. To work on a weekly chart that makes sense for everyone. 

Talk

It is important that we talk about issues we have. A trusted friend, or family member can be very helpful. If you find that you are turning to alcohol, or drugs then it is time to tackle it in a healthy way. Seek out an inpatient drug rehab center, a support group and a mentor to help. 

Say No

One of the most powerful things you can do is to learn to say no to things that don't serve you. While there is a lot to be said for being selfless and helping others (it makes us feel good too). Your own time and capacity matter a lot. 

Often, people take on much more than they should be trying to tackle and stretch themselves too thinly. The guilt of letting people down, the extra time constraints, and trying to do everything is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. 

Taking steps to manage your stress levels also has a positive impact on your family. Children pick up on stress quickly and sometimes take it on as their own. So involve them in your relaxing activities, so they can build these healthy coping mechanisms too. 

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