Social Wellness Month: Coping with Stress

Last week we discussed “What is Stress?” defining what external and internal factors are and how they relate to your recovery. Today we’ll discuss various strategies on how to cope with stress.

Stress, as we all know, is a part of our lives. We simply cannot avoid it. By understanding the concept of avoidance and self-awareness, the stressors we encounter on a daily basis can be relegated.

Here are some strategies to help you prevent unnecessary stress.

Control: This means to not only learn and understand, but accept the fact that we do not have control over everything in our lives. There are inevitable events over which you have no control. Understanding this and adopting a flexible mindset can help reduce stress.

Limits: Learning how to set healthy limits for yourself and knowing when to say “no” is crucial to your health. If your schedule is full and someone asks you to help with a side project, consider if that side project will push you over the edge and add unnecessary stress. If that’s the case, and you know you’re at your limit, then decline to avoid the unnecessary stress.

Prioritizing: It’s essential to know the importance of a task or responsibility and learn how to give certain tasks priorities to help manage your time around these activities. This will help knowing what needs to be done now, or what can be saved for later. Making daily lists, from high-to-low priority can help you manage your time appropriately and avoid the stress of having to create a high-priority task at the last minute.

Time Management: Effective time management skills are critical for proper stress control. In particular, learning to prioritize tasks and avoid over-commitment are critical measures to ensure you are not over-scheduled. Using a calendar or planner and checking it faithfully before committing to anything is one way to develop time-management skills.

Organizational Skills: If your physical surroundings are well organized, like your office, home or car, you will not be faced with the stress of misplaced objects and clutter. Make it a habit to periodically clean out and sort through the messes of paperwork and clutter that accumulate over time.

What are some other coping skills for stress management that have worked for you?

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