Things to keep in mind when managing stress:
- Identify your stressors
Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling so stressed out?" Try to identify what's triggering your stress. To do this try to write in a stress journal or a brain dump. Self-reflection can help you see if some of your own behaviors may be causing you stress (for example, procrastinating at school). When you see something like this in your life, take responsibility and find ways to improve the situation.
- Eliminate some of your stress
Decrease your stress by managing your time. Life gets busy and it's important to prioritize your tasks; break down big projects into smaller steps, ask for help when possible, and allow breaks throughout your day. Your busy-ness impacts your mental and emotional health. When you're trying to pack too many things into each day, things can quickly become overwhelming. As challenging as it can be, learning to say no to some things and yes to the things that are really important to you is one way to take control of your environment and manage your time.
- Become adaptable
There are going to be times when things are out of your control. You can't always change the stressor or situation, but what you can change is how you respond to it. Allow yourself to adapt to stress by controlling your expectations and attitude. Reframe the problem by challenging yourself to find a positive in the situation. Take a deep breath and take a step back. Look at the big picture, how significant is the situation in relation to my life? Will this matter in a month? A year? Is this situation worth getting upset over? When you expect perfection from yourself, you're setting an impossible standard. Set reasonable goals and standards for yourself. Start or finish your day with some reflection, shine a little light on the day by taking some time to identify the things that you are grateful for that day.
- Practice self-care
Make self-care a priority. It's difficult to work through the stress of your day if you aren't taking care of yourself. Self-care can be anything from eating healthy and staying active to making sure that you take time to relax. Create a self-care plan and make an effort to stick to it.
- Use grounding techniques and coping skills
Situations are going to come up where you can't change things and you need to focus on what you can control. Identify and use grounding techniques and coping skills to help you deal with the stress you're feeling. Use these skills to relieve the stress of the moment and reframe your thinking.
- Lean on your support systems
Leaning on someone else for support can help you process what you're going through. Identify the people in your life that are supportive, the people that can help provide a distraction, and the people that have a positive impact on your life. It's best to distance yourself from the people that bring you down and surround yourself with people who will lift you up.
- Seek help
When things become too overwhelming, seek help. Make an appointment with a counselor who can help you to learn how to process, reduce, and relieve stress.
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