Coping with daily stress is an acquired skill. Life is not easy — there are times when the trip to the grocery store, sitting in an hour of traffic, talking to an unhappy customer, etc. can seem like too much. That said, being able to cope with daily stress is an important skill that mature adults will have cultivated over time. It’s a muscle that needs to be warmed up, stretched, and used regularly.
Here are some tips and tricks that I use to help myself handle the daily stressors of life:
1. Check yourself. What is really going on here? Are you reacting to the situation, or are you processing it? I have found that reacting often takes a lot of energy, whereas processing allows you to take action immediately. Example: Student walks into my office and is unhappy. Are they unhappy because of ME? Probably not. If I reacted to a negative tone with a defense mechanism, I am expending important energy that is best channeled elsewhere (like solving the issue at hand.) Rather than reacting I should check myself and process the issue. Tone aside, what are they really unhappy about? What is the message they are inadvertently sending? When I focus on this I am much more able to get to the issue at hand and take action.
2. Check your thoughts. Having negative thoughts repeatedly throughout a day will undoubtedly alter your mood. Not only that, it will alter how people perceive you, and how you perceive yourself. Check your thoughts. If you are thinking negative things about yourself and your life often throughout the day, your mood, mental health and overall well-being are probably suffering for it.
3. Nourish yourself. How can you cope with stress if you don’t properly nourish yourself? Your diet is between you and your doctor, but trying to get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, protein and fruits/veggies is a great place to start.
4. Drink water. This is a huge one for me. When I am dehydrated, my thinking, processing, well-being, everything- is compromised. When I start to feel super cranky and tired for (seemingly) no reason, I know that’s my cue to drink more water, stat. It really helps with my energy levels plus it does wonders for my skin ;)
5. Pat yourself on the back! More likely than not, you are doing your best. Some days that means you will operate at 100%, other days that means you might be operating at 80%. Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect and we often times have to deal with stressors that are out of our control. The sooner you acknowledge that you don’t have control over everything and that you’re just trying your best to handle your day, the better.
I’d love to know, what are you tips and tricks for coping with daily stress?