Make a list of the things that bring you pleasure and happiness. These things allow you to release your energy, and allow you to think calmly. These are the tools that are already at your disposal for managing your stress and that you are already using, even if you have never thought of it in this way before.
Now - can you add to your repetoire of coping strategies? Think of physical activities which you could incorporate into your daily life. Yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, going for a walk, mowing, swimming, drumming, boxing … whatever works for you. Now think of ways of relaxing which you could add to your repetoire - listening to music, massage, meditation, reading, drawing, breathing exercises to slow you down, journal writing. This could be the time to learn a new skill. Have you ever wanted to learn painting, do a writing course, study your family tree, learn a new language? Social interaction is another important way of lowering stress levels, so being with other people or with your pet, phoning or visiting family or friends, getting involved with volunteering or coaching are all good ways of destressing. And the way you think will also impact on how you deal with stress, so a couple of sessions with a professional who can help you to understand the value of positive self-talk, doing reality checks on your concerns, and controlling your relaxation with cues will be well worthwhile.
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