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Stress Management: 10 Practical Steps

Practical Steps to Stress Management and Creating Balance

1. Make your life predictable by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

2. Today, give yourself a rest.

3. Say “no” more frequently when someone asks for your time. This includes social gatherings, holiday meals with the family, etc.

4. If you’ve been dealing with excessive stress, hold off on making any changes to your living space. Limiting change until later is a good strategy if you are under a lot of pressure, because change of any kind is stressful.

5. Don’t put in as many hours at work or school. Reduce the energy drain on your body if you are a workaholic or a schoolaholic. Save some time.

6. Small meals often and a healthy diet can help keep blood sugar levels stable. When under stress, a lot of people turn to sugary foods, which makes the situation worse. Consume more vegetables.

7. Relax your mind; doing so will help you cope with stress. Reading, making things, playing an instrument, listening to music, meditating, self-relaxing, dancing, and using biofeedback are all examples of mental exercises.

8. If you must worry, take some time to do so. When you find yourself worrying about a problem, schedule a time (I recommend 7:30 p.m. on a Tuesday night to my students) and wait to worry until then. Most likely, you won’t even recall what it was that was making you anxious.

9. Schedule some time for you. Schedule time for yourself first, followed by the other activities you are involved in, in your daily or weekly schedule. Anything other than an emergency should not interfere with your commitment to yourself.

10. Give yourself a massage or engage in another self-care activity.