Originally published by Employee Assistance Program (EAP Assist) on 29th November 2021 and republished with permission. https://eapassist.com.au/eap-assist/breaking-down-stress/
The key to good stress management is building problem solving skills and emotional wellbeing as well as having a good social network around you, and a positive outlook. If you are dealing with a lot of stress in your life, deal with it like you would any big problem- you can break your stress down into manageable chunks. Breaking things down into Manageable Chunks Think about taking small manageable steps. Don’t be too ambitious, go easy on yourself. Setting yourself achievable targets, or plans can help you to better achieve what you want to do. Use the Easy 4 Step Plan to break a problem or task into achievable chunks:
- Step 1 Break your problem into pieces
- Step 2 Brainstorm ways how to do the very first piece
- Step 3 Choose an idea, make a plan, and do it
- Step 4 Check your plan and put it into practice
Taking small steps to achieve positive things will make you feel better, and the more you do this- the better you feel, then the more you will do. Use Stress Busters As well as trying the above technique for managing your stress also try some good old-fashioned stress busters. Some of the best ways to combat stress can be as simple as going for a walk in the fresh air and staying active. Exercising produces happy hormones. So, when you do it, your body says ‘thanks’ by sending happy chemicals to your brain. Climbing stairs is one of the best ways there is to get fitter and get that happy stuff in your head. Get out when the weather is nice go out even if the weather is bad- just wrap up warm and you’ll feel the benefit of the fresh air. Stay Connected to People The best remedy when you are feeling unhappy and stressed is simply being connected to other people. Having a cup of tea with a friend or relative and talking over some of your worries can make your worries suddenly seem not quite so daunting, and other people often provide a perspective on life that we might not be applying to our own. Being with people also entertains us, quite often laughter is all we need, and spending time with people who we care about can be just the tonic. Give Yourself a Break Remember if you are feeling really stressed out, be kind to yourself, treat yourself to a hot bath with essential oils, take a break- relax, read a book, watch a movie. Enjoy some quality time away from your work or situation to do something that is good for you. Keep on top with a regular sleep pattern, have a set time for bed and time to get up. Be good to your body- eat healthily and try and create food from fresh ingredients. Lastly- remember we are all in this together, we might not all be in the same boat, but we are in the same storm. It’s really important that we look out for each other and check on those in our families and communities who might need help. Help with some shopping, a friendly phone call or a simple smile on the way past can change someone’s day. With a simple smile a glum mood can be lifted, an apology is accepted, that shaky self-confidence gets a boost, and the smile is simply infectious- so go on, give it a go.