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21 Self Care Tips When Stressed

by John Weaver

Take a deep breath (or two). Then try some relaxation breathing (AKA box breathing), so heart-rate slows and blood pressure lowers for at least five minutes.

  1. 1. Take a break. Get some fresh air (and maybe a new perspective).
  2. 2. Go for a walk, or exercise in an inconspicuous area near your work station (stretching, bending, etc).
  3. 3. Take a nap – sleep is critically important.
  4. 4. Listen to some music (and maybe even get your groove on) – hearing the right songs will adjust your attitude and lift your spirits.
  5. 5. Be reasonable with caffeine, nicotine, and adult beverages (not a good time to quit but neither is it a good time to kick it up a notch).
  6. 6. Keep in contact with friends and family by telephone, text, e-mail, or Skype.
  7. 7. Hydrate! (dehydration is dangerous and no one likes being around you when you have a nasty headache).
  8. 8. Have a healthy snack (e.g., fruit, nuts, yogurt) when you need energy.
  9. 9. Check how your sports teams are doing (unless they’re in crash and burn mode – you don’t need to add more stress).
  10. 10. Once in a while it is okay to start a meal with dessert (in case there is an emergency or you are worried about your weight, you can skip the meal).
  11. 11. Play a game with someone – hangman, tic tac toe, 20 questions, etc., or make up your own game.
  12. 12. Read a book/magazine you brought, or participant workbooks of various activities, or whatever is available.
  13. 13. Take a little time off.
  14. 14. If something bad happens, write it up immediately. Putting it on the right form now helps get it out of your head, so you can move on to better things.
  15. 15. Practice positive self talk (best to do this silently or in private so people won’t begin to wonder about you).
  16. 16. Isolation is bad; reliance on peer support is good. Stay connected, talk things out, and you’ll be supported.
  17. 17. Cry if you want to (or need to). Allowing tears to come can wash away some of the pain.
  18. 18. Ask for help when you need it – it’s okay!
  19. 19. Journal – write about your experiences (positive and negative) noting what you see and hear, feel, and hope.
  20. 20. Reflect upon and remember what worked and forgive (don’t relive) things that didn’t

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