There are a lot of articles written and advice given during the holidays about how to handle stress. Google “holiday stress” and there’re thousands of pages of information. While the holidays can be a difficult time stressful situations occur throughout the year and it’s important to develop a long term plan for dealing with them.
The best strategies to use while the stressful situation is occurring are ones which can be done anywhere at any time. They’re simple, immediately applicable and unobtrusive.
The best way to handle stressful times is to find out what works for you, practice it and do it consistently. People are unique and different things work for different people. There’s no one size fits all strategy. In some combination use the following ideas to craft an individualized plan.
* Breathe – Inhale for a count of 5. Hold for a count of 5. Exhale for a count of 5. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 5 times.
* Physical activity – Do something physical, it’s a great way to relieve tension. Bathrooms are great places to do toe touches, jumping jacks or run in place.
*Affirmations – Create a few short, positive sentences you can keep repeating to yourself.
* Quiet Time – Take a 10 – 15 minute time out. You can find quiet places once you start looking for them.
* Gratitude List – Make a mental list of the things you’re grateful for right at that moment. Don’t complicate it, look for small things. Gratitude lists don’t have to be full of big life affirming issues, being grateful for a comfortable pair of shoes is good too.
Remember, the idea is to find the right combination of techniques which work for you. You’re trying to establish a strategy for a lifetime, so be patient and give them a fair trial over a reasonable period of time. If none of them work there’s always the Internet.
– – Article contributed by Nicole Abbott – writer, educator and psycho-therapist.