Do’s and Don’t of coping with stress

Stress needn’t get the better of you. Recognising the signs, taking control of your reactions and making sure you get the right support can make all the difference to how you deal with stressful situations;

Do’s

  • Do take some action. Worrying will not resolve your problems and you will need to be pro-active in doing something positive.
  • Do mind your language. Check on your negative use of words and sayings which can keep you in a negative frame of mind. This can affect your mood and behaviour. Think positive.
  • Do watch what you eat and drink. Coffee, alcohol, energy drinks and sugar are all stimulants which can give you an initial rush but also a major come down. Try to avoid junk food and eat healthy freshly prepared meals.
  • Do be assertive. You have the right to say ‘No’ so…say ‘No’ when you need to.
  • Do have some fun. Avoid taking life too seriously; learn to appreciate the lighter side by doing fun things and things that make you laugh with family and/or friends.
  • Do manage your time. Planning will give you more time to do what you want and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety.
  •  Do treat yourself. Take time-out during the day. Go for a walk, read a book/magazine etc.
  • Do communicate. Talk to your friends or someone you’re close to. It might be just a quick chat to touch base but it might be all that you need.
  • Do reflect on the week gone by. Think about how stress affected you that week and reassess what you can do different in the following week. • Do talk to someone professionally if necessary. Take action.

Don’ts

  • Don’t begin fortune telling. What you believe will happen often actually occurs. Stop creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Don’t over indulge, misuse substances such as drugs (including prescribed), drink or tobacco as ways of running away from your problems.
  • Don’t be walked over or taken advantage of. Say ‘No’ and be assertive and stand up for your rights.
  • Don’t hide away from or avoid stressful situations. Act now.
  • Don’t try to be super-man/woman. It is more than ok to be ‘good-enough.
  • Don’t keep your anger or frustrations bottled up inside you. Doing this may show signs of destructive behaviour to self or others. If necessary, and if possible, shout, scream or punch a cushion, exercise by taking the dog out or do some power walking.
  • Don’t ‘live to work’ but ‘work to live’ instead. Go back to planning a balanced lifestyle.
  • Don’t use blame and waste energy. Recognize the concern and take action.
  • Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope you’ll avoid the stress, tackle it head-on.
  • Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. Speak to a family member, a friend you can trust or seek out some professional help.

Last updated: 12th November 2018