3 Tips to Conquer Stress

Everyone experiences stress, kids included! We feel stress in reaction to both positive (e.g., preparing for a party or wedding) and negative situations (e.g., worry about getting sick in a pandemic). Stress is an inevitable part of life and it can be helpful when we need to get out of bed or make it somewhere on time. It can be a problem when it makes everyday life hard. Learning healthy ways to cope can help reduce stressful feelings and symptoms.

3 Tips for Handling Stress

Get More Physical Activity

Stressful situations increase the level of stress hormones like cortisol in our bodies. These “fight or flight” hormones were originally designed to protect us from immediate harm when there was a physical threat, like a bear. Nowadays, this pathway gets activated by modern stress even when there is no immediate danger. Physical activity is a great way to burn off extra stress hormones and relax mind/body.

Research shows us that regular (4 times week or more), moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes is MORE effective than antidepressants! So, go for a walk, ride that bike, or even work up a sweat cleaning the house.

Try Relaxation Techniques

Try to relax using a stress reduction activity. Learning to take deep breaths can be a great way to balance your emotions in the moment. The best part is that your breath is always with you, no props needed.

Another fun technique is grounding yourself in the present, by taking note of things around you. Using five senses, pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells you notice. Grab our free relaxation cards with this, and more, activities. These are great for kids and adults!

Don’t worry if you find it difficult to relax. Relaxation is a skill that needs practice. You will find it gets easier each time you try.

Start to Say ‘No’

When we are stressed it is often because we have too much to do, and too little time to do all we expect from ourselves.  Even when you are overwhelmed, you may feel pressure to agree to more responsibilities. Don’t do it!! Learning to say “No” to unexpected requests can give you a feeling of control and reduce stress. You may also feel more confident when you easily set boundaries around your time.

Wondering why you say “yes” when you mean “no?” Many people find it hard to say “No” because they are afraid of not being liked. Or, they have a desire to be seen as helpful or giving. Others may fear getting into a conflict or being rejected by someone they respect.

You might feel reluctant to give a straight out “No.” It may help to have some phrases or responses ready to go.

For example, “My plate I full right now and I’m not able to take on new tasks.”

Or, “I’d love to help but, now is not a good time for me. Check back in…”

“Thanks for thinking of me, but I am currently not available.”  

We all experience stress sometimes. If you feel like your stress is out of control, and you don’t know how to find calm, we can help. Reach out today!


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