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People experience stress on a daily basis. We all suffer from it in a different way; What might be stressful to you, may not be stressful for me (and vice-versa). With the ever-increasing demands on our daily lives, it is normal for us to be stressed. The issue arises when we are not able to cope with it or control it. By learning to handle stress, you are able to live a healthier, happier and more productive life. Here are some useful tips that you may use to manage stress in a healthy and sufficient way:

5 tips on how to manage stress:

  1. Identify the stressor – This isn’t as straight forward as it sounds. Unfortunately, we tend to overlook minor situations that may be causing stress without us knowing. A useful tip that I recommend to identify these minor situations is to keep a stress diary for a few weeks. When doing this, you can become more aware of which situations are causing you the most stress.

Take note of the following:

  •  Date
  •  Time
  •  What you were doing
  •  The people you met
  •  How you felt

By doing this, you will learn to avoid stressful situations and develop better coping techniques.

2. Get enough sleep – Lack of sleep is a main cause of stress. Unfortunately, stress is also a main factor that keeps us awake at night. This is because our stressful thoughts keep swirling around in our heads. To stop this from happening, you need to be as relaxed as possible before going to bed. Make sure that your bedroom is a stress-free zone where nothing can distract you. Try listening to some calming music or reading an easy book, something that will help you forget your worries!

3. Engage in physical activity – When feeling stressed, physical exercise is the last thing you may feel like doing! However, trust me when I say that exercising is one of the best ways to cope with this feeling. Exercise helps regulate the stress hormone released during tough situations. This will help restore your mind and body to a more relaxed state. When you are feeling stressed, go for a simple walk. Try to go outdoors whenever it’s possible! 

4. Connect with others – By simply just talking to someone about what you’re going through, this can really help to calm you down. While the person you’re talking to may not be able to solve your problem, opening up can help release the built-up tension created from it. Make it a point to connect with family and friends on a regular basis. Don’t forget, laughter is the best medicine!

5. Have a “Me” day – Take a day off and indulge yourself in whatever you love to do! This helps you not to get lost in the bustle of life. Making time for yourself is a necessity to recharge yourself and work better. So, remember, find time to relax and most importantly, have fun!

If you are experiencing a great amount of stress and feel that you are unable to cope with it, I encourage you to seek professional help before it becomes too much to bear.

Malta is amongst one of the highest countries to have people experience depression, anxiety and stress amongst workers when compared to the rest of the countries in the EU. The average in the EU stands at 17.6%, well below the 29.3% recorded by Malta.

Mandy is a Gestalt psychotherapist who enjoys working therapeutically with adults on various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing. She also has experience working with anxiety, victims of domestic violence and eating disorders.

References:

  1. Dealing with Stress – Ten Tips | SkillsYouNeed. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/stress-tips.html
  2. Said, M. (2011). Maltese workers amongst highest in EU suffering from work stress. Retrieved from https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/8121/maltese-workers-amongst-highest-in-eu-suffering-from-work-stress#.X2DgcJMzbOQ