Everyone encounters stress during their lives at some point (e.g., never-ending bills, demanding schedules, work, family responsibilities, pandemic quarantine) and that can make it seem inescapable and uncontrollable. Stress management skills are designed to help a person take control of their lifestyle, thoughts, and emotions and teach them healthy ways to cope with their problems.
The first step in stress management is identifying your stressors. While this sounds easy, chronic stress can be, and most people do not realize how their habits contribute to their stress. Maybe work piling up is not from the actual demands of your job, but more so from procrastination. You must claim responsibility for the role you play in creating your stress or you will not be able to control it.
Once you have found what causes your stress, focus on what you can control. Eliminate the realistic stressors and develop consistent calming habits. Instead of watching TV or responding to texts in bed after work, take a walk or read a book. Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough quality sleep, will ease feelings of stress and help you relax.
Also, make a conscious effort to practice self-care by setting aside time for yourself and for relaxation. Alone time can be whatever you need it to be. Some people like doing activities such as tai chi, yoga, or meditation, but you can also treat yourself to something simple, like taking a bubble bath, listening to music, or watching a funny movie.
Finally, stress comes from trying to bear your burdens by yourself. Talking with others (or with me) does help because it provides an avenue for you to vent your feelings. There is one Greater who provides the ultimate help. We read Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Paul writes to the Philippian church: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).