Ways to Manage Stress

In recent days, things have been tough.  It’s tax time.  Our country is still struggling with multiple issues, and just being an adult is hard at times.  We have bills to pay, things to do, and work to keep us busy, and all this makes it more important when it comes to managing stress.  There are so many ways to manage stress, and be healthy in hard times, and it’s time to think about how you manage stress ways to do that.

As I think about how to manage stress, I think about lots of different things.  I am an early riser, and get up before my family on the weekends, and weekdays too, but during the week I don’t have as much time.  I like having time early in the morning, both at home and at work.  It’s the calm before the storm, and I often relish the quiet of the day.  In my life, that quiet helps me think about things I need to do, organize other thoughts, and still have time to just think about how to take care of me.  That’s the hard part, but it’s the most important part.  The better I care for myself, the better I care for others.  As a therapist, I need good self care to help my patients, but also to have anything left to help my family when I get home.

So having some time for myself in the morning is important, but it’s also important to have bits of time during the day to think about things that help me escape.  Whether it’s lunch at work, or just going to the grocery store by myself, it’s nice to take time during the day to have a minute for yourself.  During those times, I try not to think about bills, or patients, or what my family needs, but I try to think about fun, or plans for the future, or places that I would like to see.  It’s easy for me to get lost in thoughts about a trip around the country to see all the places I haven’t been able to see, yet!  From the Grand Canyon, to Mount Rushmore, to the shores of Maine, I love to travel and hope to be able to find time to see all of it some day.

So what else can you do to manage stress?  Don’t forget about getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercise, but those we have talked about before.  So lets talk about other things.  You can go hiking, deep in the woods and enjoy the quiet and peaceful places you forgot were there.  You can go to the beach and search for sea glass, or drift wood.  You can develop a hobby, with things you find in your yard, or in your community.  It’s amazing what some people can do with things that we throw away.  You can start a garden, and grow things you would like to eat, or flowers that make you happy.

Never forget that managing stress is as important as working to pay bills.  There is never enough time in the day, for everything you want to do, but there should always be something that helps you feel better.  As you manage your stress, you manage your health, in a way that will help you well into the future.  Take care of yourself, and remember that it’s all a part of being happy for life.