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Finals are Approaching: Key Skills to Know When Handling Stress

handling stress

With the everyday pressures of modern life, it’s no surprise that many of us aren’t handling stress too well. The long hours at the office coupled with tight deadlines, student loan debts, and an uncertain future can eventually result in total burnout.

In a recent post on Psych Central, psychotherapist Stephanie Dobbin and Patrice Douglas – founder of Empire Counseling & Consultation – share a few strategies for handling stress. Let’s look at some of the skills and strategies that can help you keep stress at bay.

Handling stress starts with self-reflection

The first step in dealing with stress is understanding the factors that lead to this problem. That means taking the time to self-reflect and pinpoint your daily stressors.

But aside from exploring the origin of the problem, it’s also essential to identify your old coping strategies. Some might handle stress through alcohol and substance use, while others avoid talking about their issues.

Cultivating healthy coping strategies

Once you zero in on your stressors and unhealthy coping strategies, you can start implementing healthier habits. This will help you handle stress better and avoid burning out.

To cultivate healthier coping strategies, Patrice Douglas recommends using a ‘coping skill box.’ In other words, fill a box with all sorts of items like Play-Doh, candy, a journal, and pretty much anything that can help you cope with daily stress.

But aside from using different strategies and items, you also need to set aside 30 to 60 minutes for a daily coping session.

Natural stress relievers  

Aside from the strategies we already mentioned, one easy way to relieve stress is by spending time in nature. Take a walk to the nearest park in your free time or plan a weekend getaway somewhere far from the noise of the city.

Another excellent stress reliever is exercise. Physical activity can decrease stress, keep depression at bay, and improve your overall health. Whether you’re into jogging, gym workouts, or home exercise routines, make sure you turn physical activity into a habit.

In a nutshell, handling stress boils down to organizing a healthy routine. It’s about the little things that help you set aside your busy schedule and blow off some steam once in a while.   

Click here to read more tips for your teen or young adult.