Stress Management

Put stress where it belongs – in the back seat

Two young friends riding bumper cars at amusement park

Life can get too busy. When it gets too busy that you can’t spend enough time with people that mean a lot to you, it’s probably gone too far. I more than realized that on Sunday when I met my dear friend Georgia for late lunch/early dinner (What do you call that, lupper or linner? I totally stole that from Seinfeld reruns, but now I need to know). I’ve known her forever. When too much time has passed before we see each other, we can pick up like we see each other every day. I want to go on record to say she’s probably the only person that could get me to jump into a freezing lake on New Year’s Day in frigid temperatures. If you met her, you would do it too! She’s that awesome. But we realized that life got very busy, and it was too long before we spent quality time together, and we didn’t want to let it happen again.

Sometimes, the stress of too many competing priorities can creep up on you before you know it. And then it hits you, so you need to deal with it. I know what works for me when I’m stressed. I like to hang out with friends and family, eat great food, write, go for walks and workout. They’re all therapeutic for me.

Sam and G

Me and Georgia on Sunday at Ouzeri restaurant

There are different ways to manage stress depending on the type of person you are. This post is the second in the stress series. The first was “Is stress public enemy number one for your skin’s appearance?”

When there’s a problem at work, school or home, how do you respond? Do you worry and try to get the problem resolved as soon as possible (approach it), or do you just want it to go away and ignore the problem (avoid it)? Or do you use a combination of these two approaches depending on the situation?

Your answer can tell you which coping style you use when there’s stress in your life. Neither of these responses is right or wrong. People that avoid problems seem to cope best with short-term situations, while people that approach problems tend to better handle stress over a longer-term.  Both types can be effective coping methods.

Knowing how you approach stressful situations can help you choose the right way to reduce it.

Do you approach a problem?

If you prefer to approach stressful or crisis situations, you’re problem focused.  You may find that you tend to worry more than other people and can become anxious. You want to know everything you can about a situation, and question and worry until the problem gets resolved. You may also get upset with situations you can’t control.

Stress reduction techniques that may work for you
deadlifts

Try workouts that require your concentration to take your mind off of your concerns.

Try taking an active approach to managing your stress.

  • Write down your worries as they come up and then put them away. At an appropriate time, allow yourself one-half hour to an hour to go over them and find solutions.
  • Some signs of stress that you may experience include nervousness, butterflies in the stomach or tense muscles. Exercise can help you relieve your tension.
  • Focus on exercise that requires your concentration, such as weight training or volleyball rather than running or doing some meditation. Running or meditation will give you too much time to think about your problems while you are doing them instead of relaxing your mind.

Do you avoid problems?

If you avoid situations, you most likely push things away and deal with problems by withdrawing from them. For example, you probably manage your stress by blocking out things around you, including the people that are involved with the situation.

Stress reduction techniques that may work for you
Walk in park

I love going for walks as a way to reduce stress

  • You may not be fully aware of your body’s reaction to stress if you avoid problems.
  • You may need the help of a therapist or support group if a crisis comes along that you can’t ignore, such as the death of someone close to you or job loss.
  • Meditation, reading, writing, deep-breathing or taking a hot bath are effective stress reducers for you.
  • Exercises such as running or swimming are also excellent ways to reduce stress.

Do you use a mixed approach?

Are you someone who can manage problems based on the situation facing you? For example, are you able to set aside the small stuff and face significant problems when necessary? If this is the case, you may also be able to mix your stress reduction styles to match your situation.

You can use a combination of the stress reduction approaches listed above; depending on if you’re facing a small problem or something that requires your full focus.

I use a mixed approach depending on the situation.

If it feels right – do it

Happy Young Mixed Race Ethnic Family Having a Picnic In The Park.

Spend time with people you love.

Regardless of the type of stress, you’ll know you’re coping with it effectively if you enjoy the techniques you use, and feel better afterward.

It’s important to talk to a healthcare professional to help you cope with stressful or crisis situations and to effectively manage your stress levels.

What are your thoughts? Do you know what approach to stress you use? Also, what do you think late lunch/early dinner should be called, lupper or linner?

33 replies »

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog! It was very helpful and I’ve come to realize that I’m avoiding my problems instead of finding a solution right away which makes me stress even more! I will practice your suggestions to reduce stress from now on! 🙂

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  2. Such a great and detailed post, Samantha! As someone who is Type-A, workaholic, and a perfectionist, stress is something that is very familiar to me. Definitely needed this blog post so I can lower my stress levels. Thanks for sharing! xo, Steph

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot Stephanie! We are personality twins! I am working towards moving away from some of the traits (I do have a post on perfectionism I’m working on). I hope you find some of them helpful. I have been reducing my stress slowly and I have found it started with knowing how I dealt with things and then working from there. Thanks so much for your comment! Have a wonderful day 🙂

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      • I really need to reduce my stress because I could being doing more concrete things during the time I’m worrying about something! Instead of worrying about my grades, in that time, I can actually study! I also love the quote “que sera sera” which means what will be, will be. Sometimes, things aren’t in our control and we should be okay with that. Good luck to the both us of becoming less stressed! Xo, Steph

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  3. Great Read Sam! Sometimes I prefer talking to the concerned person and sort it out. That helps me most of the time. I also like to take a walk. Recently started working out. It actually boosts my day. Thanks for sharing interesting tips. 🙂

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  4. Great post Sam. I tend to approach problems. I should get better at working out, when I do, it does help for sure. I don’t find that yoga helps me as much so I’m probably not doing the right type of workout. I am going to go with Linner. It sounds funnier to me 🙂

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  5. Great article Sam. I tend to be approach the problem more than avoid it in most cases as I feel like I am always the responsible one especially when it comes to my family. It is not the best approach as at times the stress really becomes hard to manage and for me it turns into actual physical pain. My best remedy is the gym and if that is not possible then driving to nowhere while listening to music but that is probably not the safest. I sometimes tend to mix both approaches but that is usually due to the level of priority in my life or whether or not I am already way too stressed out or focused on something else.

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    • Thanks Rudina! Thanks also for sharing your story. Exercise would be an excellent way to reduce stress for you, especially weight training or something that requires concentration. For example, if you’re doing the treadmill for cardio and you have that level of stress, try running with very short interval changes in speed and incline so you have to pay attention to that. Minds can wander running (I know mine does!) It’s awesome that you recognize which ones you use and when, it’s really helpful in choosing the right kind of stress relief activity for yourself. Thanks again for sharing. Have a great day!

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      • Thanks so much for the tips Sam. I couldn’t agree more. Yes at times running just at one speed can place you in deep thinking and make it worse haha . Thanks again!

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  6. I do like to read and go for walks to reduce my stress. I do find I tend to avoid problems until I need to deal with it. Also, lupper sounds better to me 🙂 Love the reference and the post. Well done!

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