Why do I need Stress Management Strategies?
Through years of research on stress and stress management, I've found that the best way to maintain healthy levels of stress over long periods is to have a plan... a strategy.
To begin, check out these Ten Tips for Stress Management to begin to understand what a stress management plan needs.
To begin building your strategy, sit down and allow yourself a bit of quiet time so that you're not stressed during this time... it's like they say "you should never go grocery shopping when you're hungry"... well, it's also not the best time to plan your stress management strategy when you're stressed.
After you feel like you've explored your stress, it's time to put together a plan.
Make a list of stress management activities that you enjoy doing, that work for you, and that you know you will actually participate in.
Next, make another list of activities you would like to try. For example, if you've never tried hypnosis for stress relief but you're interested in trying it out, put it on the list.
After you have a list of activities written out, consider small lifestyle changes that you can make to help manage and prevent your stress. Large changes and goals are great, but sometimes all it takes are a few small changes to make a big difference.
For example, maybe you have a bad habit (as I do) of staying up too late. Set a goal for yourself to try to go to bed at an earlier time at least a few times per week. Making healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting enough sleep, exercise, and water can have a surprising effect on your overall health and mood.
The final thing to consider is putting all of your ideas into action. Having a plan is great, but if you don't use it... what's the point?
Try to put together some ideas for when certain activities will work for you. For example, if using a stress management journal works really well for you, plan to set aside some time a few nights per week before bed. In fact, journaling and getting your thoughts out could ease your mind enough so that you have an easier time falling asleep... which may help with another goal of getting to bed earlier.
Having a stress management strategy instead of waiting until your stress is at a boiling point will make a dramatic difference in the frequency and severity of the stress you face.