Stress Management

Ways to Manage Stress

Stress is part of being human, and it can help motivate you to get things done. Even high stress from serious illness, job loss, a death in the family, or a painful life event can be a natural part of life. You may feel down or anxious, and that’s normal too for a while.
Talk to your doctor if you feel down or anxious for more than several weeks or if it starts to interfere with your home or work life. Therapy, medication, and other strategies can help.
In the meantime, there are things you can learn to manage stress before it gets to be too much. Consider these suggestions:

Exercise

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Aerobics

If you don't have the time for a formal exercise program, you can still find ways to move throughout your day. Try these tips:

  • Bike instead of driving to the store.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park as far as you can from the door.
  • Hand-wash your car.
  • Clean your house.
  • Walk on your lunch break.

Diet

  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Sleep

A common side effect of stress is that you may struggle to fall asleep. If this happens three times a week for at least 3 months, you may have insomnia, an inability to fall and stay asleep. Lack of sleep can also add to your stress level and cause a cycle of stress and sleeplessness.

Better sleep habits can help. This includes both your daily routine and the way you set up your bedroom. Habits that may help include:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get out in the sunlight.
  • Drink less alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime.
  • Set a sleep schedule.
  • Don’t look at your electronics 30-60 minutes before bed.
  • Try meditation or other forms of relaxation at bedtime.

Relaxation Techniques

  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
  • Biofeedback
  • Connect with people
  • Inner voice
  • Laugh therapy
  • Talk therapy