Self-Care for Stress Management
When stress strikes, caring for yourself often gets put on the back burner. Yet that’s when it’s most important. Good mental health and stress management requires a commitment to yourself. Here are some positive steps you can take to help modify the effects of stress…
Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. Try the following deep breathing exercise:
1. Four second inhalation.
2. Four second pause.
3. Four second exhalation.
4. Four second pause.
During a stressful situation, eating nutritiously can help you cope. Make sure you are getting well-balanced meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables. You may not be interested in food and may find it easier to eat smaller portions more frequently. Try to have healthy snacks on hand and avoid consuming excess sugar or salt. Be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and other depressants as a means of relaxing.
Exercise can help reduce the physical effects of stress trauma. Try to engage in physical activity several times a week. This doesn’t have to involve a trip to the gym. It can be as simple as walking. Check with your physician before engaging in strenuous activity if you are not use to it.
Sleep is important to both your emotional and physical well-being, so try to stay on a sleep schedule. This can be difficult during stressful times, but following good sleep hygiene, such as the tips below, can help.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine too close to bedtime.
- Establish a soothing bedtime routine such as taking a warm bath or listening to quiet music.
- Avoid screen time (television, computers, phones) before bed.
- Get adequate exposure to natural light during the day.
- Associate your bedroom with sleep and create a quiet, dark and cool environment.
Connect with Others
Find a support source – someone capable of listening to you. Having the supportive ear of a friend can help you cope.
Recognize when your stress is overwhelming and you are in need of expert intervention. If you are experiencing extraordinary signs and symptoms of stress, we encourage you to contact someone knowledgeable in stress management.
Back to Crisis Response Team.