Facts About Stress and Management Techniques Raised adrenalin Elevated blood pressure Panic / anxiety Heart palpitations Elevated cholesterol Weight gain – increased eating and bad food choice Diabetes – increased blood sugar Increased smoking Lack of exercise – difficulty in maintaining an exercise pattern (odd, exercise is needed to reduce stress) Bodily Reactions
Relaxation Techniques “Time Out” – one hour to yourself each day Walk – Exercise Replace negative thoughts with positive self-talk Break big problems into small ones Learn to say “no” – avoid others placing unwanted stress on you Discuss problems with a friend Deep breathing - in through nose, out through mouth 5 times Drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration Avoid / Alter / Adapt: Can you prevent or avoid situation Can you change the situation? Can you change your response? Realize responsibility for actions: Be responsible for only what you have control over. Seek hospitals, clinics, and counselors that offer stress management programs or group discussion. –Other techniques offered - visualization, biofeedback and meditation.
HOLIDAY STRESS CHECK For many people, the holidays can bring a feeling of overwhelming responsibility. The activities that often accompany the season can lead to increased stress and less appreciation for what the holidays are all about.
Keep Your Holiday Stress Under Check Just Can't Get Everything Done? You have a million things to do, and you just don't see how you'll ever get them all done in time. You've considered asking for help, but no one will do it the way you like it. Stress Check: It's time to lower your standards and ask for help. Don't pressure yourself to meet an impossibly high standard. So what if others don't wrap presents like you do. Focus on what's important, delegate what needs to be done and let go of the rest. When you start to feel overwhelmed, ask yourself how much pressure is self-imposed. Then simplify. Get Organized! Get Organized! Do you tell yourself you can't get organized because you're not the organized type? Stress Check: Rethink your attitude and examine the benefits that being organized will bring you. The time you'll save and the anxiety you'll prevent can be exhilarating, and you'll be amazed at what you're able to accomplish in less time with less stress over the holidays.
Holiday Burnout Trying to run that holiday marathon as fast and furiously as possible? Going the distance requires pacing and refueling along the way. Stress Check: To keep from burning out over the holidays, alternate tasks that require a lot of concentration with those that require little. Take frequent breaks — a short, brisk walk or a few minutes of deep breathing can renew your energy. If you're feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated, pushing yourself harder will only make matters worse. You'll be much more productive if you accept your need for time out. Family Togetherness : Many of us dread holiday family get-togethers for a variety of reasons: the aunts argue constantly, Grandma is never happy with the meal; the kids would rather be someplace else. Family conflict can produce unbearable stress. Stress Check: Try to make the best of it. Tell yourself that you'll attend family gatherings with a positive attitude and a genuine feeling of appreciation for your relatives. Try to see the good in everyone being together. Your attitude may just rub off on others.
Set Priorities: Do you find yourself working hard but getting little done? Feel like a hamster on a treadmill going nowhere? Stress Check: Prioritize your efforts. Differentiate between busywork and effectiveness. Spend time on holiday activities that will achieve realistic goals, then delegate or drop the rest. Re-evaluate Commitments: The holidays are full of social commitments with family, church, school, neighborhood and community. How can you be part of it all? Stress Check: The answer is, maybe you can't. How can you keep from over- committing your time and energy? Learn to say no. Believe it or not, people will understand if you are unavailable for certain projects or activities. Say yes only to what you really want to do, and you'll avoid feeling resentful and overwhelmed.
Oh, the Wait: The holidays can test even the strongest of patience. Long, sluggish lines in traffic, at the mall, the bank and the grocery store can cramp your carefully prepared holiday agenda. What can you do? Stress Check: Try to avoid peak shopping and driving times. If all else fails and you find yourself in line, change your attitude. Take some deep breaths, daydream, chat with others or read a book. You won't save time, but you'll cut down on stress.
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