(adapted from the Palliative Care Patient and Family Counseling Manual, Catholic Community Services, Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
LOOK FOR CAUSES – Who or what is at the bottom of the stress? Dealing directly with the person or issue is typically a good approach.
- EXAMINE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS – What can you do to add warmth, communication, and mutual support into them?
- EVALUATE – Not every argument is worth trying to win. Defend values that are important, but learn to ignore lesser issues.
- BE POSITIVE – If you fail, don’t concentrate on the failure. Be intentional about recalling past successes.
- SEEK ADVICE – Confide in a friend; this can loosen tension in incredible ways. Seek professional counsel when needed. You’re worth it.
- DO SOMETHING FOR OTHERS – Reaching out may take the focus off you and reduce the stress that can be caused by brooding. Try doing at least one thing for someone each day.
- DO ONE THING AT A TIME – You’ll get more done with less hassle when you concentrate on each task as it comes.
- LEARN TO PACE YOURSELF – You can’t operate in high gear all the time. And you can’t just “sit there” all the time, either. Take a break. Go for a walk. Look out the window. Do something else.
- EXERCISE – Physical exercise can refresh you after heavy emotional strains. Reading a book can relax you after physical action.
- CREATE A QUIET PLACE – Take time to meditate or pray or journal. Recent studies of meditation techniques and yoga show that we can train ourselves to relax.