Coping with Stress & Anxiety

Constructive Strategies to Implement

  • Keep physically active.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep.
  • Eat balanced, nutritious meals as regularly as you can.
  • Try to build some pleasure and fun into each day.
  • Allow yourself to experience your feelings.
  • Talk to people you trust about how you are feeling and why.
  • Keep a journal or use another means of self-expression like art or music.
  • Pay attention to what you are thinking. Identify and challenge distorted, negative self-talk. Don’t obsess. Don’t catastrophize. Think positively in a realistic way.
  • Practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, yoga, or meditation.
  • Draw upon your spiritual beliefs; make time for spiritual practices that you find meaningful.
  • Listen to music that you find relaxing.
  • Seek time to be alone when you need it, but don’t withdraw or avoid.
  • Problem solve about the situations that are causing you the most stress and anxiety. Discuss these situations with others who can help you think them through.
  • Seek support from positive people.
  • Tenaciously hang onto your sense of humor.

Destructive Strategies to Avoid

  • Using alcohol or drugs to try to diminish anxiety.
  • Overeating or eating lots of junk food.
  • Channeling your stress and anxiety into anger; taking your anger out on others.
  • Obsessive worry about the sources of your stress.
  • Withdrawal; avoidance.