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Tips for Dealing with Stress and Tension
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Courtesy of Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Mental Health Association, Coping with Stress Toronto, 1997.

Stress and tension are normal reactions to events that threaten us. Such threats can come from accidents, financial troubles and problems on the job or with family. The way we deal with these pressures has a lot to do with our mental, emotional and physical health. For more information about coping with the impact of caring for aging survivors, please refer to Part 3 of this manual. The following are suggestions to help you manage the stress in your life.
  • Recognize your symptoms of stress.
  • Look at your lifestyle and see what can be changed - in your work situation, your family situation, or your schedule.
  • Use relaxation techniques - yoga, meditation, deep breathing or massage.
  • Exercise - physical activity is one of the most effective stress remedies around!
  • Time management - do essential tasks and prioritize the others. Consider those who may be affected by your decisions, such as family and friends. Use a checklist so you will receive satisfaction as you check off each job as it is done.
  • Watch your diet - Alcohol, caffeine, sugar, fats and tobacco all put a strain on your body's ability to cope with stress. A diet with a balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods high in protein but low in fat will help create optimum health.
  • Get enough rest and sleep.
  • Talk with others. Talk with friends, professional counselors, support groups or relatives about what is bothering you.
  • Help other. Volunteer work can be an effective and satisfying stress reducer.
  • Get away for awhile. Read a book, watch a movie, play a game, listen to music or go on vacation. Leave yourself some time that's just for you.
  • Work off your anger. Get physically active, dig in the garden, start a project, get your spring cleaning done.
  • Give in occasionally. Avoid quarrels whenever possible.
  • Tackle one thing at a time. Don't try to do too much at once.
  • Don't try to be perfect.
  • Ease up on criticism of others.
  • Don't be too competitive.
  • Make the first move to be friendly.
  • Have some fun!! Laugh and be with people you enjoy!