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How to manage stress

  • When you are under stress, you need to take good care of yourself.

    • Eat well-balanced meals. You may have little time to grab a healthy lunch, but don't go for high-calorie, high-cholesterol fat food. Instead, pack a peanut butter sandwich, fruit and a cookie. Avoid caffeine drinks such as coffee or cola. Instead, drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
    • Do not smoke or chew smokeless tobacco. The harmful effects of tobacco will do your body no good.
    • Get plenty of rest. Your body and mind need to "reenergize" each night. In the morning, you should feel relaxed and fresh. Sleep eight hours a night.
    • Exercise three to five times each week to release stored-up energy. You don't need to do heavy work-outs at a gym. Go for walk, bike rides, swim, join a dance class or do stretching exercises. You may even lose a pound or two.
    • Meditate to focus on something relaxing, not stressful. Think of a peaceful place and go there in your mind.
    • Ask for help if you can't handle your work load or home duties. There's no shame in admitting you need help.
    • Don't worry about things you can't change.
    • Write down what causes you stress. Also write down how you handle each situation.
    • Avoid as much stress as you can. Try not to drive in rush-hour traffic and avoid situations that make you feel anxious or emotionally drained.
    • Schedule things you enjoy (such as taking a bubble bath, visiting or calling a friend, reading or watching sports).
    • Take a break. Sit back and take a few deep breaths. Think through your situation.
    • Do relaxation exercises.