10 Ways To Cope With Stress
Life is full of stressful situations, whether it is due to work, friends, family, or financial problems, and in times like the one that we’re currently living; it can potentially alter how we emotionally feel. Believe me, I have been dealing with that as well.
Because I know how draining it is to deal with stress – I have decided to share with you some of my ways to deal with it. More precisely 10 ways to cope with stress.
Stress is inevitable. It happens to all of us. We have all been through stressful situations regardless of what they may be. Some of us deal with it on a daily basis due to our mental health, and others deal with it due to their current situations. Not every stressful situation is dealt with in the same way and we should keep that in mind when acknowledging someone who is also struggling with stress.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor so anything that is stated in this post is purely based on personal experiences and research.
10 Ways To Cope With Stress
1. Stop Trying To Fix Other People
When trying to cope with stress we often try to either avoid the situation, or we go in-depth digging for answers that we may not find immediately. Stress can sometimes lead to an urge to fix everything that’s around us and help others find the answers that they may need, and as much as it’s an amazing thing to help others, we can’t focus on fixing their situations and putting aside ours. Believe me, that’ll only add more stress to your circumstances.
Helping others and trying to fix them are two completely different things that we need to carefully understand and separate so we don’t cause more harm to ourselves, nor to the other person. Always know your limits.
2. Respect How You Feel
Stress should not be taken like a “don’t worry” type of situation when it is affecting your life and the way you view life as well. There’s a lot of strength in vulnerability and being open with yourself and with others about how you feel is in no way a sign of weakness, nor something that you should feel ashamed of feeling. Acknowledging how you feel can help you better understand your situation and how you can potentially find a solution or a way to manage your stress.
Of course, everyone copes with stress and their mental struggles in a different way. Not being open about how you feel is not a requirement to solve a problem; you can keep everything to yourself and eventually put all of the pieces back together, but remember that we can only carry so much weight and ignoring something that’s damaging your life can also lead to more serious issues (ex. depression, anxiety, panic disorders, intrusive thoughts).
3. Don’t Postpone It
Oftentimes people confuse anxiety and stress so they think that they’re both the same thing when in reality they’re completely different. Anxiety usually prevents you from focusing and doing other things that don’t include a specific stressful situation. With stress, you’re mostly focused on a particular situation and trying to figure out ways in which you can solve your problems; that doesn’t mean that you will be unable to focus on other things.
If something needs to be done then do it. Don’t leave it for tomorrow. Leaving it for another time can potentially cause you even more stress due to pilling up your ongoing agenda.
4. Play With A Dog
Just a little bit over a year ago I decided to adopt a dog. Being mentally ill is a huge struggle and sometimes we need something, or someone, to keep us motivated and with the blind hope of getting through another day. My dog has done exactly that. She keeps me motivated, brings out a smile every day to my face, makes me feel like I’m doing something good and not wasting my life, and she also has the potential to calm me during stressful situations and make me feel like everything will be alright regardless of what may be happening in my life.
Dogs can sense when something is wrong and when you’re not feeling okay. Just a couple of months ago I had to get a surgical procedure on my eye and I was unable to do things on my own, I was also told that I could not have her around me due to potential infections and for the sake of my eye. My dog, Olivia, is a really playful and full of energy puppy and she completely understood that I was not doing okay. I couldn’t see her the first day of surgery because my eye had a patch and I’m blind from my other eye, but I could touch her and I felt her trembling. I was too scared to have her near me because I didn’t want to harm my eye but someone brought her near me and she just sat next to the sofa and when she was about to be taken away she started crying. She has never done that before. It was a very stressful couple of weeks during recovery but she kept me sane. She understood my boundaries when I needed her to understand and she acknowledged that I was in pain. Petting her brought me down to my place and it helped me during recovery. Having her near me and feeling like I wasn’t alone was a huge and important aspect on my recovery process.
5. Watch A TV Show
As the big TV show fanatic that I am, I completely recommend finding a good show to watch and distract your mind from what’s happening in your surroundings. This is my go-to whenever I feel stressed and can’t find a way to solve my problem. Everyone has a different taste when it comes to TV shows; some people like comedy, other action, but I personally prefer crime and drama shows. If I may suggest a TV show for anyone to binge-watch that would have to be Law and Order: SVU.
That is one of the best crime dramas out there and the longest currently running one. Do keep in mind that it can be triggering as well. Other alternatives and good shows that I can personally recommend include
- Bates Motel
- Will & Grace
- The Fosters
- How To Get Away With Murder
You can watch some of these TV shows on Hulu. Click here to learn more!
6. Keep A Journal
I have been doing this ever since I was a teenager and keeping all of my spontaneous thoughts on it has quite helped me in a lot of ways. Not only does keeping a journal helps you to distract your mind while you write all of your thoughts and ideas, but it can also help you regarding your memory state. I’m currently in my mid-twenties and I’m constantly forgetting everything; the smallest things like taking my pills, what I did 5 minutes ago, my phone, I constantly struggle with how much I forget things. You could think that it only happens to the elderly but no. A lot of things can impact memory loss; for me, it has been my mental illnesses and thyroid problems.
7. Read A Poem
I know, this sounds too cliché to be considered a way to cope with stress but believe it or not, a lot of people find peace and serenity in poetry; in the work of others. There are so many good poems out there and so many that are not allowed to flourish because the authors are not known people.
Poetry can be an escape for so many of us and even writing poetry you can find a sense of relief and understanding when you find a writer that resonates with you or your situation.
I’m in no way a poet, nor do I consider myself one but if you would like to read some of my pieces I will leave them right here.
8. Listen To Your Favorite Songs
Another cliché stress manager that works. Like poetry, music also has a calming sense of peace to it. The lyrics, the melody, the production, the song as a whole, can have a great outcome when it comes to calmness and serenity. We all have our favorite artists that have the potential to make us feel at ease and less stressed. For me, that artist is Taylor Swift; an amazing songwriter and storyteller. Storytelling in music may be some of my favorite concepts when it comes to music. There’s just something so relaxing about listening to a story but in a more in-depth musical way. If interested, I will link my favorite playlist which includes some of the songs that help me ease my mind and unfold how I manage my stress. Some of them are sad, other are fun, but they all make me feel something different and that’s another of my favorite things about music; the diversity of it.
Sometimes there’s so much more to bear with than just a stressful situation. As mentioned before, stress can lead to a more serious mental disorder, and to prevent that, if necessary, please reach out to a professional. No matter how small your problem and situation are, it’s better to fill in the blanks that your subconscious has convinced you to believe than ignoring your feelings and potentially feeling even worse. During these hard times I know there’s a struggle when making appointments with any therapist but I have a good alternative for you that involves not leaving your house. Online-Therapy has been working to help those who need to talk to a certified therapist that can help you and give you strategies to work with yourself. Highly recommended. Click here if you want to learn more or try this platform. You can obtain a 20% off with the following link.
10. Do Something New
Trying new things can be scary and challenging; even more when you’re stressed and your attention is focused on something else. Trying something new whether is writing, going on walks, cooking, knitting, or whatever it is that you may be interested in. This can not only be a huge distraction but it can also help you develop a new hobby, or create a new habit that will benefit you, or just simply make you happy and calm.