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Seven tips to manage stress during challenging times

Posted April 20, 2020

Stress Relief

1. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Making an effort to remember all of the things you’re grateful for is very important. Research has shown that taking time to express gratitude or even acknowledge thankfulness in our own thoughts increases well-being and creates positive feelings. Gratefulness can be the antidote to increased stressors in challenging times.

2. Spend money wisely.

Overspending, panic spending, and comfort spending can add to your stress by creating financial pressures that will last long after a temporary situation. Make a plan about how much money you can afford to spend and then follow your budget. Remember, a mountain of purchases won’t create happiness.

3. Understand and respect your own boundaries.

It’s hard to say no, but saying “yes” to every demand could leave you exhausted. Decide what matters most and prioritize that.  When you know your priorities, it’s easier to say “no” when you’re aware of what you’re gaining in return. When saying no, always be honest, short and thankful.

4. Plan ahead and have an easy-to-follow schedule

Maintain as much of a normal schedule as possible for you and your family. Often when stressed, we fall into a pattern of poor sleeping and eating patterns, which can make stressful situations worse.

5. Take time for yourself.

Taking a break from news and social media to spending even just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, can refresh and rejuvenate. Clear your mind, slow your breathing and restore inner calm. Some options may include stargazing, listening to music, taking a bath, meditation or reading a good book.

6. Ask for help.

If you feel overwhelmed with all that you have to do, don’t hesitate to ask others for help. There are many online communities that can provide support and social connection when needed.

7. Set realistic expectations.

There are many factors currently beyond our control that can negatively impact any situation. Be prepared that things may not turn out exactly the way you want or expect, and people may not act the way you want them to. Try to identify what you can and cannot change. Be realistic in what you have real power over and try not to let what you don’t weigh too heavily on you.

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