Sometimes life can get stressful. School, friends, relationships, work, parents and other responsibilities can be overwhelming at times.
How do I know if I’m stressed?
Stress usually shows up in the body even before you realize that you’re upset. This could include increased heart rate, headache, stomach-ache, cold or clammy hands, and tightening of shoulders, arms and/or legs. Stress can also contribute to irregular sleep and depression.
How do I prevent stress?
- Remember what strategies worked for you when you were stressed in the past and use them.
- Share your feelings and thoughts with someone you trust.
- Eat healthy and get plenty of sleep.
- Avoid overloading extra-curricular and social activities.
- Exercise regularly.
- Practice using positive ways of expressing your needs to others.
- Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is to join a public speaking club if talking in front of a class makes you nervous.
- Divide large tasks into smaller chunks.
- Set realistic expectations for yourself.
How do I manage stress when it happens?
- Relaxation exercises are helpful, such as slow and deep breathing, stretching the body – yoga, and thinking about calming ideas or images.
- Use positive self-talk (e.g. I can do this. I’ve done this successfully before, I am proud of myself because…).
- Take a break from the situation. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, exercising or spending time with a pet can reduce stress.
- Speak to a family member or friend that you trust and that will listen to and support you.