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. 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.
- 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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