Managing Stress

If you think you’re suffering from stress, anxiety or depression, here are ten ways you can take to address them:

 

Breathe

  • Deep breathing brings fresh oxygen to your blood, helps to calm down your nervous system and clears your mind.
  • For an easy three to five minute relaxation exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees.
  • Breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth.
  • Focus on expanding your belly when breathing in and squeezing your belly to your spine as you exhale all that air out. Repeat three to five times.

 

Change your environment

  • Studies show that walking has stress busting benefits, including:
  • Boosts endorphins (feel good chemicals).
  • Puts your brain in a meditative state.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Boosts energy and reduces fatigue.
  • Walking in nature or a park is even better!

 

Take a break

  • Take breaks — to truly stop and relax, instead of only “pausing”.
  • Try taking a short walk or sit quietly, taking deep breaths.

 

Do a self-massage

  • Close your eyes and relax your face, neck, upper chest and back muscles.
  • Massage or apply pressure to your temples and jaw.
  • Use a tennis ball to massage away tension. Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot and apply pressure.

 

Take a short shower

  • Enjoy the hot water on your skin.
  • Hope Village has showers available.
  • Take a long bath, if possible.
  • Practice good hygiene; keeping clean is important.

 

Hold your pet

  • Animals offer unconditional love and acceptance.
  • Hold and pet a cat for a few minutes or enjoy time with your dog.
  • Pet therapy for patients: Ask your health care team about pet therapy for patients.

 

Spend time with family and friends

  • Humans are social animals and we need support.
  • Reaching out can feel hard or even awkward, but take a chance: call, text or email.
  • Chances are people want to be there for you.
  • Reach out to Imerman Angels imermanangels.org for one-on-one support.

 

Laughter and humor

  • Get your funny bone working.
  • Give yourself permission to laugh and smile.
  • Watch a funny movie or a comedy show.

 

Escape

  • Books, magazines, audio books and movies offer escape for the mind.
  • Find a private space and scream to release tension.

 

Sing and listen to music

  • Turn up your favorite song and sing along!
  • As you listen to music, try journaling or stretching or just dance to burn off stress and become recharged.
  • Dance, like nobody is watching!

 

We have resources available to you

  • You may also find helpful information, education and support in the Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center. Programs such as support groups, education classes, music therapy, art therapy and more may help you to deal with stress.
  • Talking with a social worker may also help. You can reach a social worker by calling the Division of Clinical Social Work at 626-256-4673, ext. 82282.