Handling Your Stress


1. Pleasurable Activities

A. By yourself (listen to music, take a walk, read a novel, TV)

B. With others (do things with people you like)

2. Take Care of Your Body

A. Nutrition- avoid too much caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs - eat healthy food: fruits, veggies

B. Get adequate sleep

C. Exercise!!! (ideally 3+ times/week, 20-30 minutes)

3. Time Management

A. Check off tasks-make lists & have fun checking off as you get things done

B. Prioritize

C. Don't take too much on; know your limits

4. Maintain "Perspective"

A. "It's all how you look at it"; examine your thoughts for unhelpful/ untrue thoughts-argue to yourself why they are incorrect/unhelpful; then substitute more correct/helpful ones

5. Communication Skills: Getting Along with Others

A. Listen lots

B. Don't be passive, Don't be aggressive; Be assertive

6. Laugh (watch funny movies, TV, look for the lighter side of life)

7. Relaxation

A. slow & deep breathing; imagine pleasant scenes; tense & relax muscles; music; reading; church/prayer/meditation...

8. Talk to Others about Being Stressed (everyone is or has been!)

A. friends, family

B. counselors

9. Read more on the subject:

* The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (Martha Davis & others)

* The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook (Edmund J. Bourne)

* An End to Panic (Elke Zuercher-White)

* Dying of Embarrassment (Barbara G. Markway & others)

* When Anger Hurts (Matthew McKay & others)

* Mind Over Mood (Greenberger & Padesky)