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Staying Healthy

Tips to Handle Stress

Young people smiling

Most of us have more stress in our life than is healthy for us

Too much stress makes blood sugar levels go up. Too much stress can raise blood pressure. Too much stress can lead to overeating. We do not have to be victims of nonstop stress in our lives. Regardless of our current situation we have choices.

Let us look at some real examples

Ask yourself: "Can I change or avoid this stress?" If the answer is "yes" you have more control than you may have first thought.

What if getting the children off to school each morning is a major stress for you

This is not something you can simply decide not to do, but you can get things ready the night before so everyone is not rushed in the morning. This is an example of changing or altering the situation that is causing your extra stress.

Put into action the three A's:
Avoid (remove) the stress
Alter (change) the stress
Accept the stress (accept it, but keep yourself strong to handle it better) 

What about something you can avoid

Your family has asked you to drive to a get-together that is far away. Your car is not working and your children are sick. You can choose not to go. You do not need to feel guilty about saying "no" sometimes.

If you cannot change or avoid the stressful situation, then you must accept it

How do you accept it without feeling stressed out? You must build the strength to handle it.
  • One of the best ways to help us deal better with stress is to eat well and move more.
  • Give your body all the vitamins and nutrients it needs
  • Get your heart rate up. You will release endorphins. (Chemicals the body produces naturally that produce happy feelings.)
  • Reach out to others.
  • Join support groups for parents. You can face the challenges of life without feeling totally exhausted and stressed.

Lastly, you can change how you look at things that happen in your life

As a famous scientist once wrote, "It is not so much what happens to us in life that matters most, but how we take it." Do not say bad things to yourself. Do not say things such as, "I deserved this. Why does this always happen to me?" Give yourself a pep talk instead. Tell yourself, "I can get through this. What can this possibly teach me? How can I grow from it?"

You cannot have the energy and wellbeing to care for everyone else who depends on you without first doing good things for yourself

Far too often we all try to keep going on empty. Recognize your stress and take action. Do not let it build up and eat away at you.
  • Fill yourself up
  • Pamper yourself
  • Make the time for activities that relax the body
  • Listen to music
  • Play with your children
  • Swing on a swing
  • Feed the ducks
  • Enjoy a nap
  • Sing a song
  • Watch a sunset
  • Take in a movie
  • Read a comic strip
  • Enjoy sitting in a warm bath
  • Take a long walk
  • Read poetry
  • Write in a journal
  • Call a friend
  • Do something spiritual
  • Sit, close your eyes and take some deep breaths in and out for several minutes

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