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Top Ten Habits that Help You Manage Your Stress
By Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach
Today we have more stress in our lives than ever before — good
stress, bad stress, red stress, blue stress (my little ode to Dr.
Seuss). No matter what kind of stress it is, a real crisis or an
imagined one, stress is incredibly harmful to our body, mind and
Here are my favourite self-care habits for dealing with stress:
- Get in the habit of noticing.
Take an inventory of all the things that just don't feel right
in your life or that you know are causing you stress. For example,
when you approach certain people, places or situations do you feel
more stress and tension? Once you have your list in place, look
at what you can change yourself, and do it. You can also use this
list to predict stressful situations before they occur.
- Get in the habit of asking for help.
For what you can't change yourself, you need a team. Build a team
of experts to handle your list. A coach, at the top of the list,
will help with the big picture and will keep you honest about your
efforts. Other team members might be a family doctor who listens
to you, a financial planner, a massage therapist and an exercise
- Get in the habit of bouncing back.
Think of Plan A as your basic self-care plan while stress is under
control. Now imagine something happens and you are under stress.
Instead of abandoning all self-care because you can't do it all,
have a Plan B ready beforehand.
- Get in the habit of relaxing.
If you practice relaxation techniques (breathing, meditation,
imagery, music) every day, then when stressful situations come
up you'll have the tools at your fingertips.
- Get in the habit of gratitude.
comes from our emotions and our emotions come from our thoughts.
Thinking about what we're grateful for and
we're good at can keep things positive. It's not about shying
what's challenging you — it's about approaching life
from a place of strength and not as a victim.
- Get in the habit of creating.
Experiment with a new recipe in the kitchen, write a poem, bang
a drum, do a craft, take a dance class or do something else that
feels creative to you.
- Get in the habit of putting your stuff away.
Physical clutter can really impact on mental, emotional and physical
health. Get rid of things that don't make you happy when you look
at them. Organize your stuff. Find a place for everything and keep
- Get in the habit of breathing.
This is the simplest and quickest way to relax yourself in a stressful
situation. The minute you focus on your breathing it automatically
gets slower and deeper.
- Get in the habit of daydreaming.
Take yourself away on an imaginary holiday. Just close your eyes
and go! Picture somewhere you've been or somewhere you've dreamed
- Get in the habit of giggling.
Laugh out loud every day.
Don't let your stress get the better of you! Which one of these
strategies can you apply this week to manage your stress? •
© Copyright 2005, Genuine Coaching Services. 05/01/05
About the Author | More by Linda Dessau
Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, helps artists enhance their creativity by addressing their unique self-care issues. Feel like your creativity is blocked? Sign-up for the free e-course, "Roadblocks to Creativity" by visiting www.genuinecoaching.com.