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All Stressed Out and Nowhere to Go
Talk about stress. Your boss is breathing down your neck. Your spouse wants to talk about your relationship. And you just got a message to call your son’s principal.
You know that stress can kill, and that only makes you more stressed out. Of course if you are really worried about your physical or mental health, you should see a doctor or a mental health professional. But the National Institute of Mental Health has some tips for managing day-to-day stress:
- Get moving. Physical activity is an excellent antidote to stress. It doesn't matter if it is kickboxing or yoga, just find something that fits your style and go at it.
- Start talking. Don't bottle things up inside; that only increases stress. Talking to someone you trust, like a family member or friend, can help a lot. If you feel the need, talk to a professional.
- Know your limits. There are some things you just can't do anything about. Learn to recognize that, and stop worrying about things that are outside your control.
- Get enough sleep and eat well. Being tired or eating poorly can make it a lot harder to deal with things. Your mother had a point when she told you that things would look better after a good night's sleep.
- Don't forget to play. You know what all work and no play did to poor Jack. Even if you have to schedule it in, get yourself some recreational time.
- Get out. Don't sit alone and stew. Be with people. And consider volunteering -- helping people in need is a good way to get your mind off your own problems.
- Make lists. Cross off items as you get them done. This can help you overcome the feeling that you are not accomplishing anything.
- Know when to back off. You don't always have to be right, and you don't always have to be in charge. Learn how – and when – to cooperate.
- Cry. Crying can be an excellent release for stress. Most people find that they feel a lot better after a good cry.
- Find quiet. Make a quiet place in your mind, visualizing peaceful, tranquil things. And make a quiet place in your house, using things like candles, soft music and lighting. Retreat to those places when you feel the need.
- Don't self-medicate. Use medication only under a doctor's care and with the understanding that medication cannot solve the underlying problems causing your stress. Never fight stress with illegal drugs or alcohol.