Tips to Manage Stress: A Checklist
The following are some useful tips in helping you to fight stress. You may find some of these tips easier to adopt, and others a little less so. Nevertheless, keep these in mind, and you may find that over time, with practice and commitment to your mental health, these tips may just become second nature.
Be sure to download a wallet-size copy of our How to Manage Stress tips for easy daily reminders.
Build up a strong support group
Build up a strong support group of family and friends who are positive influencers during stressful experiences. People with lower levels of chronic interpersonal stress have better relationships and are able to call on their social support systems when stressors arise.
Tip: Make it a point to meet with a family member or friend on a regular basis, whether it is weekly, every couple of weeks, or once a month. Meet for lunch, chat over coffee, or simply go for a walk. Make it your special time, a time to unload some of the challenges that you are facing. Don’t forget to also share the many positives that are also happening in your life.
Keep fit through physical activities
Keep fit through physical activities is another way to manage stress. Some find hiking, running and biking to be a great way to de‐stress after a long day at work. Others may head to the gym, meet with friends for a game or two, or take part in competitive activities. Tip: Set yourself a goal, whether it is weight loss, or a certain daily caloric level. Goals help us to focus. Don’t forget to celebrate milestones along the way, even the small ones. Every step counts.
Take time for Yourself
It is also important for individuals to take time out for themselves on a regular, if not daily, basis. Learning to wind down after a long day by taking a bath, reading a novel, playing an instrument, or journaling, are ways in which we can nourish ourselves, and recuperate from a day of work and from taking care of others. Tip: Switch off all electronic gadgets. Ahhh, this is a hard one for some of us! Try it though, and you may just find that you can survive for an hour without your cell phone, ipad or computer.
Engage in a hobby
Engage in a hobby that can help to take your mind away from the responsibilities of life, such as singing, painting, or gardening. Tip: Again, set yourself a goal. Take part in the annual Sun Run, in singing competitions, or have your art exhibited. Whatever your goal is, immerse yourself such that it takes away the stresses of daily life, even if it is only for an hour or two every week.
Eat a healthy diet
Eat a healthy diet, low in fat and sugars. Maintaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) for your weight and height. Tip: Set yourself an achievable goal and don’t forget to celebrate along the way!
Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep
Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night. Tip: Create a sleep routine with at least a half‐hour winding down time.
Avoid drinking excessively
Avoid drinking excessively, and no smoking. Tip: If you’re a social drinker who finds comfort in an occasional bout of excessive drinking or smoking, and you’d rather rid yourself of this habit, identify a buddy whom you could call to help you when the desire to drink starts to kick in. Hang out, watch a movie, or go for a walk instead.
Learn some easy relaxation exercises
Learn some easy relaxation exercises to counter moments of stress. Tips: Please refer to the downloadable Tips Card for a series of easy‐to‐do relaxation exercises.