Both the National Mental Health Association and the American Psychological Association offer many recommendations to build resiliency against the inevitable stressors of life.
Here are a dozen ways to get started:
- Recognize that it will never be a perfect world, even during the holidays, so go with the hand that has been dealt to you for these holidays. “It is what it is.” The holidays will pass quickly.
- Become assertive and learn to say “no” to unreasonable time pressures and responsibilities that others put on you.
- Exercise regularly, engaging in aerobic activities, and maintain good nutrition, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
- Build relaxation time into your life and enjoy calming music or reading, especially during those times when you are not with family
- Have a relaxing hobby that you enjoy and give yourself permission to engage in it each week, in order to distract your attention from stress-producing news on TV, for example.
- Do one task at a time, instead of multi-tasking
- Use the power of visualization to picture yourself engaging in relaxing, healthy pursuits and write down goals in order to accomplish those pursuits.
- Use imagery, meditation or self-hypnosis to imagine accomplishing your goals peacefully, while letting go of situations over which you have little or no control.
- Laugh each day, whether it’s from hearing or repeating jokes, watching funny videos or hanging around with funny people.
- Stay away from highly tensed, negative people
- Try to play with a pet each day.
- Get professional help if you still feel overwhelmed and stressed.
Our world these days is filled with invitations to worry and feel hopeless. But events and situations only represent 10% of the stress in our lives. What we do about these events determines whether we will be overwhelmed or resilient. Begin practicing these dozen stress-busting tips and watch your life take a turn for the best!
Jack Singer, Ph.D.