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Stress Management

Why is it important?

  • Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium & health
  • Stress narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life
  • Stress Management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive

Tip 1: Identify the sources of stress

  • Easy to see stressor examples might be changing jobs, moving or relationship changes
    • To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:
    • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
    • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?
    • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?

Tip 2: Practice the 4 A’s

  • Avoid, Alter, Adapt & Accept
  • Avoid unnecessary stress
    • Learn how to say “no.”
    • Avoid people who stress you out.
    • Take control of your environment.
    • Pare down your to-do list
  • Alter the situation
    • Express your feelings.
    • Be willing to compromise.
    • Create a balanced schedule. Adapt to the stressor
  • Reframe problems.
    • Look at the big picture.
    • Adjust your standards.
    • Practice gratitude.
  • Accept the things you can’t change
    • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable.
    • Look for the upside.
    • Learn to forgive.
    • Share your feelings.

Tip 3: Get moving

  • Physical activity is a huge stress reliever and you don’t have to be an athlete or spend hours in a gym to experience the benefits.
  • Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction from your daily worries
    • Put on some music and dance around
    • Take your dog for a walk
    • Walk or cycle to the grocery store
    • Use the stairs at home or work rather than an elevator
    • Park your car in the farthest spot in the lot and walk the rest of the way
    • Pair up with an exercise partner and encourage each other as you work out
    • Play ping-pong or an activity-based video game with someone

Tip 4: Connect to others

  • Spend quality time with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood
  • Keep in mind that the people you talk to don’t have to be able to fix your stress. They simply need to be good listeners.
  • Reach out to a professional when you need more than just a friend

Tip 5: Make time for fun / relaxation

  • Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs.
  • Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.
  • Set aside leisure time.
  • Do something you enjoy every day.
  • Keep your sense of humor.
  • Take up a relaxation practice.

Tip 6: Manage your time better

  • Poor time management can cause a lot of stress.
  • When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.
  • Don’t over-commit yourself.
  • Prioritize tasks.
  • Break projects into small steps.

Tip 7: Maintain balance with a healthy lifestyle

  • In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Reduce caffeine and sugar.
  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
  • Get enough sleep.

Tip 8: Learn to relieve stress in the moment

  • The fastest way to reduce stress is by taking a deep breath and using your senses—what you see, hear, taste, and touch—or through a soothing movement.
  • Viewing a favorite photo.
  • Smelling a specific scent.
  • Listening to a favorite piece of music.
  • Hugging a pet.
  • Find what works for you.

Tips for Stress Management

  • Start a stress journal
  • Track your sleep
  • Keep a journal
  • Find a professional when you need to



Student Assistance Program with BayCare

Resources on Stress and Stress Management

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