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Author Topic: Stress Management  (Read 1752 times)

Star

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Stress Management
« on: July 04, 2011, 09:05:46 pm »
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

(I should mention, because some of my family seemed to misunderstand when I asked about stress management on Facebook, that I don't really mean "I'm having a bad day, what can I do to cheer up" sorts of stress management things.  My intent is more to focus on longer-range stressful situations that go on for weeks or months or interminably or whatever, where doing those little daily cheer-up things might help temporarily but may not fully address the broader issue.)
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Sage

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 10:24:19 pm »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

 
That's a toughie because I'm still learning to deal with long-term stress. Journaling (or blogging) helps keep me on track. It helps me find variation in stress levels and understand the daily changes in anxiety as relating to mood, hormones, the amount of work I have to do, etc.

Another technique I'm experimenting with is taking serious time for myself every day, even if it's just half an hour. That means either no computer or the Internet disabled. Reading, writing, something fun and creative that I'm doing for myself.
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savveir

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 12:55:38 am »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

 
I try to get me time. I go for a walk to a place I've found with the perfect tree to sit against and just have time to myself where no one can get at me or call me(i leave my mobile at home). I usually end up venting at the tree as well, turns out it's a good listener, trying to get to the cause of why i'm stressing as i quite often haven't got any clue about it. After i'm done i wander home again and have a nice pampering shower and I try to wash away all the things that i discovered were stressing me out.

I hope that made sense, it's not something I've really spoken about before
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Jenett

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 01:07:14 am »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

 
I have Opinions about this, as people familiar with my last two years might understand.

1) Figure out where the stress is coming for.

Solutions for "run ragged due to stuff I can't control" are different from "have no money to do things I care about" are different from "really worried about family member/situation/whatever". Knowing which one(s) you're dealing with really helps.

2) Based on that, look for things that at least address some of why it feels so stressful.

Some examples from my recent history:

- Feeling like I wasn't making any progress anywhere (at work, and then job hunting.) I did some things like tracking what I was doing (which helped), but I also picked up some hobbies (spinning, knitting) where I could directly see I had done stuff when I had, and found that helped.

- Feeling totally stymied by (as it turns out, pretty major) health foo. I did a bunch of research as I could, I kept really detailed notes, and I got a friend to help me push for the referral I was really sure I needed (and that did help.)

- Feeling out of control of a lot of bits of my life - they were in holding patterns I couldn't do a lot to influence. I figured out things that I could do that did help the bits I could (developing my professional blog, a specific range of knitting projects)

3) Looking at things that really weren't helping.

This meant being realistic about a lot of friendships/acquaintanceships. (It is, erm, amazing how much I didn't get offers of help when I really needed it, and in varying ways, made it clear I was not doing well/could use some. Some of that's understandable: people had their own Stuff to deal with it.) But I got really pragmatic about some of it: I'm not going to spend limited time/energy/focus on people who don't reciprocate when I can't meet them more than half-way anymore. Painful, sort of, but also really cleansing.

4) Finding a few things that were useful distractions

Ideally, these are things that at least partly helped the things I was stressed by somehow, but that were also enjoyable and relatively mindless. (Certain kinds of pattern-matching games did it for me for a long time: the matching helped my brain knit itself back together in useful ways. Rereading favorite books does it for me, often.)

And then doing some stuff that's just basic self care - getting as much good sleep as I can, eating as sensibly as I can, taking time to recharge and take a break when I can. Getting good at finding 5 or 10 minutes of that, between other things, is a great skill. Baths are awesome for me.

5) Telling myself, a lot, that these things pass. Or at least change.

And remembering that while I may not have a lot of control over what happens, I do have at least some control over how I respond to it. Doesn't always help, but a lot of the time, if I take a step back, remember to sleep on something, etc. I come up with a better solution.

6) Figuring out ways to simplify what I could.

Sometimes, this is a place where if money isn't the main stressor, throwing some money at a problem can really help. During the worst of the health issues when being active for 10-15 minutes meant needing to sit down for an hour, I had a cleaning service come every two weeks, to do the housecleaning I just couldn't work up to (floors, bathroom, and deeper cleaning in the kitchen, mostly: I did the dishes and tidying).

It freed up *hours* of my weekend and a lot of low-grade distress. (I am more and more a Virgo the older I get, so disorder drives me up a tree now, but I'm still relatively new-come to habits that help keep it from taking over, if I don't spend an hour or so tidying up on the weekend.)

Same deal with food: investing a little bit of time figuring out what I could eat and how to do that efficiently, even if I was feeling lousy, paid off big time. (Trader Joe's is a great solution for me, but so was my slow cooker - and for the health stuff, I found it's great because it forces me to split up the prep time, the eating prep, and the cleaning time, because those three things have to be separate anyway.) And some stuff like figuring out that either cheese or hardboiled eggs are good all-purpose foods that can fill in gaps.

7) And having some prior experiences to draw on.

I've had a bunch of people say "I can't imagine how you're dealing with this this patiently" A lot. And here's the thing: it sort of surprises me, too (though I've had past experiences that at least gave me a jump start on being resilient now.)

But the one that's been the most useful is being part of an initiatory tradition. I have *experience* now with the metaphysical equivalent of jumping off a cliff and hoping I find my wings before I hit the ground.

I'm not precisely happy about it, exactly - but it's not an unknown situation, and my psyche and my internal wiring have been adjusted - through three initiatory rituals and my dedication, plus the accumulated work and learning and experience that has gone with it - to deal with a particular kind of uncertainty and lack of control over stuff I care passionately about.

I don't think it makes me a better person, precisely. But I do recognise I have tools available to me now, and knowledge about myself, that I (generally a patient and resilient person before I did that) didn't have earlier in my life. There's other stuff that gets you those kinds of tools: I hear really similar language from some cancer survivors, for example.

But initiatory witchcraft has a particular tool set I'm finding particularly useful at the moment, in terms of what to do to harness that uncertainty and hope and potential and tension in a more useful direction than just letting it vibrate.  I can pin down some specific stuff (and am glad to try, if it helps), but a lot of it is about outlook and how I deal with the unknown in a way that leaves my options open without disturbing potential leverage for change that is a bit harder to explain.
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Monica Mc

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 01:59:01 am »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

(I should mention, because some of my family seemed to misunderstand when I asked about stress management on Facebook, that I don't really mean "I'm having a bad day, what can I do to cheer up" sorts of stress management things.  My intent is more to focus on longer-range stressful situations that go on for weeks or months or interminably or whatever, where doing those little daily cheer-up things might help temporarily but may not fully address the broader issue.)


For me personally it helps to figure whether or not it is something I need to actually need to stress out about or whether I am just freaking out becuase I feel like I've got too much on my plate even though I actually have plenty of time. I have a tendancy to hate having multiple things going on even if none of them are big so taking things one at a time and being organised helps me with that one.

Me time is a big thing for me and one I recommend to anyone who is getting stressed. I find that having some time every day when I can feel OK about doing anything or nothing really helps.

If your stress is people related give yourself a little time out whenever it all gets too much if you can. Locking yourself in the loo for 5 or 10 minutes when you can't get peace any other way can work for people who have limited privacy to just sit.

Morag

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2011, 12:19:48 pm »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

 
I journal or blog, depending on what it is. Sometimes I vent to people. Other times I put in a movie that will make me cry and let 'er rip, because having a good cry every once in a while really helps me regroup.

Last night, for example, I cried for a good solid hour because fixing my car is going to cost me 300 dollars, which isn't in my budget at all (but I need my car for work/other obligations). I'm feeling much better today, even if I have to work a few 14 hour days in the coming weeks to make ends meet.

I'm also a stress eater, which is something I have considerably more control over now than I did 10 years ago (for example, I actually realize when I'm stress eating now -- I still can't stop myself, but knowing is half the battle). However, stress eating is not something I would recommend as a strategy. I'm making it work for me, but it's not something I'd choose.
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Nathen

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2012, 08:47:08 am »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

(I should mention, because some of my family seemed to misunderstand when I asked about stress management on Facebook, that I don't really mean "I'm having a bad day, what can I do to cheer up" sorts of stress management things.  My intent is more to focus on longer-range stressful situations that go on for weeks or months or interminably or whatever, where doing those little daily cheer-up things might help temporarily but may not fully address the broader issue.)

 


Well stress is a part of our life.We can't completely get rid from it.But it can be minimized.The first thing which should be notice that don't be panic.
Try to remain cool.Depression makes you furious.
Give time to yourself.Sit alone and think about yourself.Or go to walk and control your nerves.Set simple targets and choose easy way to achieve them.
Eat healthy food and drink maximum water.Drink fresh juices.
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Nathen

Sophia C

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Stress Management
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2012, 05:23:14 pm »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?

Meditation has been one of the best things for my stress levels. I have to do it every day, or almost, for it to have a stress-reducing effect, but it's really helpful when I do. I find myself feeling like I can deal with stuff a bit better, and can go longer without reaching meltdown stage. It's good. (I've been neglecting meditation recently and really need to get back to it.)

Getting out into nature regularly helps, too. I believe there's psychological research showing the brain benefits from time spent in the natural world, probably because it provides a break from the stresses of modern life - although I'd like to believe there's a spiritual element to it too!
« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 05:24:38 pm by Naomi J »
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Stress Management
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2012, 07:48:54 pm »
Quote from: Star;1058
When life gets just crushingly stressful, what are some strategies you find useful for helping you get through it relatively intact?


Long haul preventative stuff for me is meditation; activity (best for me it is either physical but if I cannot do that, service of some kind is a good substitute or additional activity); some type of socialization (this is a new add for me and it's working out and not causing stress as it has in the past); and having some goals just for me no matter how silly anyone else thinks they may be.

And on the active removal of stressors side of things it is Jenett's #3 that helps me the most. I used to feel it very important to be a resource for everyone at work, but after feeling like I was taken for granted I began to own what I was doing and stopped putting myself out for everything and focused on those things I wanted to achieve. I was taking my own energies for granted and people were simply taking me up on my offers. Also, removing myself from environments and people that were stress laden helped and still helps enormously. It might be a bit isolating at times, but however much I miss out on gossip wise, I gain in peace of mind. I miss some interactions, but now that I have been away from them, I am able to dip in briefly, and that's about all it takes to reinforce keeping a distance.

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