DEALING WITH STRESS

SIGNS OF STRESS
– restlessness
– irritability
– fatigue
– poor sleep
– muscle tension
– poor attention
– physical symptoms – headaches, teeth grinding, digestive problems
– frequent illnesses or worsening of existing health problems

PROBLEM-SOLVING TECHNIQUES
– decide what aspects of your situation are within your control and can be changed
– reduce commitments or ask for help in sharing the load
– break down problems into small steps that are concrete and attainable
– be assertive when negotiating new commitments
– reward yourself for each step forward
– take regular breaks and down time

WHAT NOT TO DO
– emotional numbing
– binge behaviours
– avoidance
– procrastination
– over-scheduling
– multi-tasking
– isolating yourself
– blaming others

REDUCING VULNERABILITY TO STRESS
– have a medical check-up if you are concerned about your health
– pay attention to diet, sleep and exercise
– cut down on caffeine, nicotine, sugar, energy drinks
– avoid drugs and alcohol
– complete one task at a time rather than multi-tasking
– try to understand what your emotions are telling you
– give yourself time for rest, socializing and pleasurable activities
– consider limiting your use of social media
– practice mindfulness and attention-shifting techniques

LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
– examine your priorities and whether you are getting satisfaction
– think about the costs and benefits of your current lifestyle
– challenge beliefs about having little control over your life
live according to your values rather than focusing on competition and success

SEE ALSO
– Diathesis–Stress Model
– Understand Your Stress
– How to Deal with Stress