Tips to Manage Stress: A Checklist

In the course of our work, we have met many clients who have been overwhelmed by the “stuff” that’s going on in their lives. We have compiled some useful information that can be helpful to anyone at anytime, to manage the stressors in their lives.

Note that these general strategies and tips that are good for self care and mental health, however, they will not replace therapy or counselling.

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.

Practice makes progress! Make a commitment to achieve mental and emotional health, by reminding yourself daily what you need to do to keep yourself healthy.

Be sure to download a wallet-size copy of our How to Manage Stress tips for easy daily reminders.

Tips to cope with stress during COVID19

Tips to Manage Stress


Build up a strong support group

Our biggest supporters are our family and friends. We would encourage you to 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 to Manage Stress: 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.

Be Selective

While we all have people that we hang out with, there are also individuals within any group who tend to annoy or rub us the wrong way. Be intentional about spending or rather not spending time with them.

Tip to Manage Stress: Be selective about the people you let into your life. Think about your own mental health when making plans with those who are not entirely in your camp. Learn to say no to these people, but be kind and gracious.

Say No

Saying no is probably one of the best things we can do for our selfcare, and hence, our mental health. It is easy to say yes, and some of us find it hard to say no.

Tip to Manage Stress: Instead of saying no, say “I am not able to accommodate your request at this time” or “My plate is full at the moment”

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 to Manage Stress: 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.

Self Care

It is also important for individuals to take time out for themselves on a regular, if not daily, basis. Self care is an important part of keeping ourselves healthy. When we are healthy, we can be present for our loved ones. 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 to Manage Stress: Switch off all electronic gadgets. Ahhh, this is a hard one for many of us! Try it though, and you may just find that you really 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 to Manage Stress: 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 to Manage Stress: Set yourself an achievable goal and don’t forget to celebrate along the way! We have Registered Dietitians on our team who can help you set up a meal plan that supports your goal.

Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep

Get at least 7 to 8 hours of sound sleep every night. Sleep experts would tell you that our body needs a minimum of 7 hours to renew and refresh itself. If you have issues with falling asleep, sleeping soundly, or have issues getting out of bed, talk to a sleep expert. If you are lying awake at night worrying and anxious, give us a call. Our counsellors can help you understand, accept and manage your fears and worries.

Tip to Manage Stress: Create a sleep routine with at least a half‐hour winding down time.

Avoid drinking excessively

Avoid drinking or smoking excessively. This is a hard one for those of us whose go-to self-help strategy is to down an alcoholic drink, or to pick up a cigarette. Most especially if this has been our strategy for many years. If you are wanting to get rid of these addictions, there are numerous resources in BC for you. Some of Innova Therapy’s counsellors can support you in your addictions recovery journey. Just give us a call.

Tip to Manage Stress: 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.

Tip to Manage Stress: Please refer to the  downloadable Tips Card for a series of easy‐to‐do relaxation exercises.


Start managing your stress today. Don’t wait until stress affects your body, which over a prolonged period, could lead to heart disease or strokes.

If you need help, reach out to us for a 30-minute free consultation at 604-484-2737 or Book Online above.