Practical Tips for Relieving Stress
These stress management activities seem to work well for most people. Use the ones that work for you.
Talk with others who understand and accept how you feel. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or faith-based leader to explore what meaning the event may have for you. Connect with other survivors of the disaster or other traumatic events and share your experience.
Body movement helps to get rid of the buildup of extra stress hormones. Exercise once daily or in smaller amounts throughout the day.
Be careful not to lift heavy weights. You can damage your muscles if you have too much adrenaline in your system. If you don’t like exercise, do something simple, like taking a walk, gently stretching, or meditating.
Take deep breaths. Most people can benefit from taking several deep breaths often throughout the day. Deep breathing can move stress out of your body and help you to calm yourself. It can even help stop a panic attack.
Listen to music. Music is a way to help your body relax naturally. Play music timed to the breath or to your heartbeat. Create a relaxing playlist for yourself and listen to it often.
Pay attention to your physical self. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest each day. Don’t leave resting for the weekend. Eat healthy meals and snacks and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, especially in large amounts. Their effects are multiplied under stress and can be harmful, just making things worse.
Use known coping skills. How did you handle past traumatic events like a car crash or the death of a loved one? What helped then (e.g., spent time with family, went to a support group meeting)? Try using those coping skills now.