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Written by Andrea Barker
Relief and management of stress
Find a friend, a work colleague, a family member, your GP or an organisation to support you – you really do not need to cope alone.
  Find what works for you - Get back to being YOU                    
  30 (plus 1) ideas and tips: to help you manage your Stress levels
1.      Step back, pause and think about what is at the root cause of your stress? be honest about what really should be addressed, even if painful or embarrassing as facing a problem head on, as calmly and as reasoned as you can, will start to resolve it and you may find help or strategies you were not aware of
2.      Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, this can be hard – however once you do, the solutions tend to follow, because you are more open to accepting them. If it means admitting you are wrong or sorry – then rise to it and feel the stress lift from your shoulders – and then you can get on with how to fix things
3.      Change what you can change
4.      Recognise and accept what or who you are not in control of changing, and change how you VIEW the situation or the person / persons - your view, your thoughts - you do control
5.      It can be healthy for you to ‘let go’ of what or who is causing the stress – you will most probably need guidance with this  you will most probably need guidance with this as it can be a serious matter for you to look atand needs consideration. Letting go is always with forgiveness and love, from a place of self love, and is about freeing yourself from burden.
6.      Seek another perspective. Look at things from another point of view, how would you advise someone else in your situation? Ask a trusted friend or colleague for their point of view or advice
7.      If the problem is a financial one, seek help sooner rather than later, the banks can help, and there is the Money Advice service and the CAB who can be invaluable to you If it is a legal matter, again seek help quickly.
8.      Take ‘time out’ all together if necessary – your GP can advise
9.      Address any health issues you may have ignored, or neglected, your health is so valuable to you. Even if you are fearful, nothing can be dealt with unless you know what you are dealing with
10.  Striving for ‘perfection’ in yourself or others is a big cause of stress (perceived perfection a lot of the time, as what is ‘perfection’? what it is to you - isn’t necissarily what it is to someone else), you do want a job to be done well, strive for excellence instead and be kinder to yourself and others for (human) imperfections and mistakes
11.  If it is a case of feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating – sit down, preferably with help, and identify all tasks then prioritise, then set a schedule for them to be done, (the art of time / task management) what can wait? What needs to be done at all? Or what can be delegated?  –some tasks can easily be given to someone else to do, or be shared
12.  Focus on one task at a time start with 10 minutes – 20 minutes - 30 minutes – put a timer on – do you need a break? If so take a break, then back to it, build to 90 minutes maximum on a task, then take a 15 to 20 minute break. It is surprising what you can achieve – freeing up time for other things
13.  Get off private social media in ‘task time’ and turn off your phone!
14.  Write down 3 things to do for the next day, before winding down for the evening, to help you wake up the next day with focus and purpose, whether it is work tasks or doing 20 minutes plus exercise, reading for yourself or with children or some ironing or making a point to phone someone you have not spoken to in a while
15.  Also set out things for the next day; like what you are going to wear, things you need to have with you, a packed lunch ready in the fridge, money for parking etc… it really helps with the morning and sets you up well for the day
16.  Set a time slot to send or answer emails and phone calls or to catch up on private social media
17.  Remember the phone is there for your convenience – if you choose to answer it you are saying you are available! You will generally know if it is really important.
18.  Learn to say NO so you don’t take on too much, or get into something you really don’t want to do. Be realistic about what you can achieve, it is good to challenge yourself, however in times of stress be kinder to yourself
19.  Make time to do something fun, watch a comedy, spend time with friends and family – reconnect
20.  Relax with a nice warm bath, read, take a long leisurely walk, listen to music, go out dancing or to see a film, etc…
21.  Have a massage, or haircut, spa treatment or a break, it doesn’t have to be expensive
22.  Another very useful thing is to do a ‘skills swap’ you will have a skill someone else could use, in exchange for a skill they have – no money needs to change hands, it is a matter of allowing an hour or so of time each and it can work very well.
23.  Breathing exercises, Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga are all very beneficial for relieving stress and help you focus in the now, being aware and present, reducing heart rate and other stressful symptoms enabling you to feel calmer and more able to view things objectively and allowing your creative imagination help you find solutions
24.  Make some time to exercise – there are proven benefits, to physical and mental health, especially being outdoors. Find what appeals to you, join a group, a gym or buddy up with someone, a friend, a colleague a family member including your children (if you have them) and walk, run, get on bikes, play tennis or football there is so much you could do, walk the dog, a neighbours dog, do gardening – your own or someone who needs help with theirs
25.  Find or re-kindle a hobby
26.  Pets can be a good stress reliever; cats, dogs, fish, rabbits etc… they can help with re-focusing and being calm, or getting you up and out
27.  Get enough sleep, sleep is so important for our health and cognitive function – be strict about this, and have a bedtime routine - wind down properly before bed, no devices on late, a hot milky drink, a bath, read instead of watching TV- get prepared for a positive day ahead
28.  Apart from writing down 3 tasks for the following day (12) a great thing to also do is to write down 3 good things from the day or about yourself, that mean something to you, anything – Gratitude – and being thankful, helps you remember that your life as a whole has good things in it, reminding you of what you can do and do have – do this at least for 21 days, read it back during times when you need a boost
29.  Make sure you take time to eat healthily through out the day –a good breakfast is essential, most especially in times of stress, even if you do not feel like it– take regular breaks to have a drink and food that is good for you and will sustain you – you will be more productive – therefore reducing your stress – you may want to consider vitamins and supplements as during stress these do deplete quite quickly
30.  Make sure you take time to eat healthily through out the day –a good breakfast is essential, most especially in times of stress, even if you do not feel like it– take regular breaks to have a drink and food that is good for you and will sustain you – instead of empty sugary things and you will be more productive and have more energy – therefore reducing your stress – you may want to consider vitamins and supplements as during stress these do deplete quite quickly
31.  Work on your self esteem and Confidence, and developing resilience, so you are better able to deal with or even avert stress in the future
click here if you have not read the article S is for Stress
http://www.andreabarker.co.uk/blog/24-s-for-stress 
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