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Beyond Stressed? 5 Ways to Cope with Stress

Updated on October 5, 2012

When something dramatic changes in your life, there is period where you need to time for yourself and heal. I call this “my coping time.” Death in the family, losing a job, ending a relationship or just general daily life can cause upheaval in your world and it’s these times you need to stop, take a step back and spend time with yourself. You will hear the general advice of go out and don’t stay in bed, exercise, or even don’t let it get you down but until stress does get you down and you don’t feel like doing those things, then it’s hard to just “roll with the punches”, but I think it’s ok to be down for a few days but then dry the tears, get up, and start on once again. Here are some things that might help you with coping with stress and feeling human once again.

  1. Music and Arts – Play it, listen to it, go to a concert, it helps. Go to a coffee shop, a local collage, anything. Most are free and it will help take your mind off things even for an hour or two. If that’s not your cup of tea, go out to a movie or a play. Many high school plays are priced very reasonable and matinee movies are much cheaper than night time showings. Many movie theatres also have movie clubs for the slower nights where you can watch new movies for about $5. Also check to see if your city has a discount movie theatre where they show older released movies.
  2. Writing – Poetry, a journal, short stories – it all helps relieve the internal battle. Even if you just write a sentence a day, it can help get the stress out that you don’t want to speak about. Simple sentences like “It was a good day today” or “Today was hard” helps to take out the emotion and tell someone even if it’s a piece of paper. Journaling has become so easy now with blogs that you don’t need to purchase anything to just write your feelings down, you simply need to search for blog on the internet and hundreds of sites will be at your mercy, free of charge.
  3. Library – Many people forget about the library but it’s really an untapped source of cheap and interesting entertainment. Look at old newspaper, rent movies, go to programs and obvious look at books and magazines, this is easily available in most communities and generally free so check out the local library to see what is available in your neck of the woods.
  4. Reconnecting – Sometimes when I feel down, reconnecting with old friends helps me feel alive again. The good belly laughs of yesteryear remind you that happiness is still there. Email, call, Facebook or even Twitter for a get together and even if you haven’t spoken to them in years, the memories that you have will come together once again.
  5. Getting Away – Moving might not be an option but a vacation could help calm you and help you focus on you. It might just be a day trip or even a trip to a spa but slow down, take time out for yourself and remember that you can come out of this. Mediation and yoga might not be your thing so look for something you love doing whether it is athletics, laying on a beach or even experimenting with new foods. Take time to be you.

Stress is not something to take lightly. It can be hard on the body and on the soul but don’t let it overtake you, take time to remember you when you weren’t stressed and soon everything will come back to you.

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