Pausing to make a plan for coping with stress can help you feel more calm, balanced, and effective. You cannot plan for a stressful event, but you can plan for how to deal with it. Your Employee Assistance Program can help you every step of the way.
To get you started, here are 11 coping strategies to triumph over stress — in the heat of the moment and beyond.
• Short-term plan: During a crisis
There are times when you need a quick fix for high-stress moments.
1. Pause — Don’t react immediately to stress. Instead, take time to let things settle and allow yourself to form a more objective point of view.
2. Take a few deep breaths — Exhale completely and let the next breath gently fill your lungs. Breathe slowly and steadily to calm yourself.
3. Remove yourself — Whenever possible, step outside of the stressful situation for a moment to gather your thoughts. Physically removing yourself can often help lower stress and start the recovery process.
4. Take a walk — Going for a short walk can give you a change in perspective to help you recover from stress.
• Mid-term plan: Recovering, managing,and reducing stress
Your first priority is to recover as much as possible from your current stressful situation. Next, you can manage stress by learning new ways to react to it. Finally, you can reduce stress in your life by becoming more organized and avoiding situations that trigger stress.
5. Positive affirmations — Using affirmations can help you think more positively. Reminding yourself how strong and capable you are can go a long way toward reducing stress.
Some helpful affirmations:
Things are going well for me.
I deserve to be happy.
I am making healthy choices today.
I have enough time to complete everything I need to accomplish.
Every day, I feel less and less stress.
6. Talking it out — Connect with an EAP counselor who can help you work through your current situation and provide useful ideas for managing stress.
7. Organizing — Prioritizing and getting rid of clutter can also help. Try pausing to organize routine tasks and incoming information. Take time to make a to-do list to help relieve your anxiety about forgetting important projects or deadlines.
• Long-term plan: Building resilience
The following long-term strategies can help strengthen your resilience to stressful events.
8. Physical activity — Being physically active is a great way to relieve stress; doing it on a regular basis can also help build your resilience to stress.
9. Social connection — Spending time with your favorite people can give you a boost and help you see the positive side of life.
10. Meditation — Give yourself five to 10 minutes a day for a simple meditation or deep-breathing exercise.
11. Community involvement — Volunteering your time can help distance you from your day-to-day challenges and see life in a new light.
If done regularly, many of these tips can become long-term stress management strategies with lasting benefits — such as talking with a counselor, meditating or encouraging yourself with positive affirmations.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start by contacting your EAP. Having someone to talk you through your stressors and connect you with helpful resources can make all the difference.
The EAP is a voluntary and confidential employee benefit available to you and your family at no cost.
Call our EAP experts or visit FOH4You.com today:
Employee Assistance Program
Available 24 hours a day
Services are confidential and offered as a free benefit to you and your family members.