You have to first identify those unhealthy coping mechanisms and change your attitude.
When dealing with stress it’s important to identify an effective coping strategy.
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It’s helpful to physically sit down and look at your current lifestyle. It may help to have a look at the following:
Identify unhealthy coping mechanisms.
- Social withdrawal
- Over-eating sweet or fatty foods
- Mindlessly watching the TV without caring what you watch
- Using medication to relax you
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Taking out your stress on others (e.g. in arguments or furious outbursts)
Be physically active.
- Go for a run or jump on a bike.
- Dance to your favourite music.
- Walk instead of driving somewhere close.
- Walk your dog or borrow someone else’s for half an hour.
- Take your kid(s) to the park.
- Take the stairs when you have the option.
- Find an exercise buddy, and go to a gym, club or class.
Build and maintain relationships.
- Ask a colleague to lunch.
- Call, text or email an old friend to catch up.
- Join your local Dadsnet group.
- Schedule weekly meetups with at least one friend.
- Get to know new people, sign up for a club or class.
- Take up the next offer of a social event.
- Spend more quality time with your immediate family.
Change your attitude.
- Think positive thoughts and say positive things.
- Stop overthinking everything.
- Set aside time to worry. Do this for a short time each day instead of worrying the whole day.
- Deliberately reframe your life’s challenges – ask yourself what opportunities the might present.
- Make a gratitude list – what are you thankful for?
- Engage in active problem solving.
- Study, conduct research, or find lessons.
- Put your problems into perspective – will you really care about the present difficulty in a month, or a year?
- Avoid perfectionism. Be SMART, set specific, manageable, achievable, realistic and time measured goals.
Develop a “stress relief’ toolkit.
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- Walk in a naturally beautiful setting.
- Meditate, or find the quietest spot you can to sit in.
- Interact with an animal.
- Get a massage. No seriously.
- Watch something funny.
- Get a mate round to play video games.
- Keep a journal of your thoughts.
- Enjoy a hot drink.
- Get in a hot bath, jacuzzi or steam room.
- Take up photography – we all have cameras in our pocket.
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