Coping with Everyday Stress

We’ve all been there: the dishes are piling up; our deadlines are due yesterday; the kids are yelling; the bills are overdue; there’s no time to get anything done and we’re feeling burnt out and unhappy.

The stresses of our everyday lives have a habit of building up until they seem unmanageable and too overwhelming to tackle. Stress and recovery do not go together as stress activates your fight-or-flight mode and it’s hard to remember how to cope with such stressors other than give up and indulge yourself. Of course the best thing to do on a daily basis is to eat healthy, sleep enough (about 7-9 hours a night for adults), and come to The PILLARS for one of our many stress relieving and energizing classes such as reiki, meditation, yoga, afro-fusion dance, acupressure, and tai chi.

But what if you’re not able sneak away to one of our amazing classes and you still need to de-stress? Below we’ve compiled a list of some alternative suggestions for bringing that heart rate down and relieving the anxiety so you can be the best you.

  1. Learn to keep it simple- focusing on one task at a time will significantly reduce your paralyzing feelings and allow you to be more productive.

  2. Make a priority list with time limits for each task and stick to it - this helps you get your mind organized and shows what needs to be dealt with first in what time frame; all that’s left to do is to perform those tasks and continue living your best life.

  3. Partake in a favorite hobby- removing yourself from the situation causing you stress and indulging yourself in your favorite hobby has been proven to work wonders. It can be anything from reading, writing, gardening, painting or drawing.

  4. Take a break from the device - sometimes the issue is that there is too much input from our outside environment, not allowing us to focus on our inner voice to self soothe. Turning off your devices and taking a break from social media will allow you to open that line back up and figure out what your next step should be.

  5. Watch a playlist of “oddly satisfying” videos- this idea was developed from the mood management theory which states that certain videos can help regulate emotions better than others. Such options would be videos of people playing with slime, ASMR, or a someone playing with kinetic sand repetitively.

  6. Learn how to self-massage - on a budget? Partner not around? No worries! Self-massaging has proven to be helpful and deliciously relaxing.

  7. Put on headphones and listen to nature sounds or white noise.

  8. Positive self-talk has been proven to lower cortisol levels and help build confidence levels. Write them down and stick them on your fridge or tell them to yourself in the mirror, whatever works best for you. Examples of positive self-talk include:

    "This feeling will pass."

    "I will get through this."

    "I am safe right now."

    "I am feeling anxious now, but I have the power make myself calm."

    "I can feel my heart rate slowing down."

  9. Wash your dishes the old-fashioned way - washing dishes by hand has been proven to decrease anxiety and increase positive mental stimulation, not to mention that your kitchen will be clean when you’re done!

  10. Learn how to self-soothe - try out various methods of self-soothing to decrease stress so the next time stress rears its ugly head you will have the tools to help yourself at the ready.

And always remember, The PILLARS is here to help you through your journey of recovery in terms of stress management through healthy practices and exercise, community support, NA/AA meetings and much much more. All you have to do is show up and take advantage of our weekly classes!

-Goldie, BSW Intern at The PILLARS