How to Deal with Stress

We all face challenges in our lives that cause stress. One of the best ways to cope with stress is to build your resilience. Resilience helps us to get through the tough times in a positive way, and helps us bounce back from difficult times.

Healthy and supportive relationships help build your resilience. Having people who you trust, like family and friends, who listen to your thoughts, feelings, and ideas and provide you with support is important. It can take time to build relationships, so finding activities you enjoy doing with your family and friends is a great way to strengthen those relationships.

This can include:

  • Going for walks or hikes
  • Playing sports
  • Preparing meals
  • Playing board games
  • Playing music

Working Through Stress in a Positive Way

One of the best things you can learn when you are facing a challenge is how to make a positive out of a negative. Your mindset is your biggest tool. Being a positive thinker helps you move past a challenge easily. A positive thinker:

  • Knows life is not perfect;
  • Is realistic, but confident they can find an answer to their problem;
  • Is able to handle a setback, not feel overwhelmed by it, but ready to try something new.

Let's say you didn't make a sports team at school. If you are a negative thinker, you may say something like: "that coach hates me! That's why I didn't make the team." If you are a positive thinker, you may say something like: "you know, I didn't make the team this time but, I am going to practice and try again next season. If it doesn't work out, then I gave it my best and I can always try another sport I like." It is the same challenge for both of them but, the positive thinker is hopeful and has a plan to try again.

Remember, feelings are normal, and not feeling awesome all the time is okay. You may feel angry, anxious, frustrated, or sad when you face a challenge. Here are some ideas to help cope with your feelings:

  • Get together with family and friends to talk;
  • Talk to a health professional;
  • Listen to music and breathe deeply;
  • Get out and be active, such as going for a run; and
  • Eat well, stay away from junk food.

Lastly, making a plan helps you find ideas that work for you and guides the type of supports you need to put your plan into action. Here are some questions to ask yourself and examples of ideas:

  • What helped me cope last time I had a challenge?

Last time I had a challenge, eating well, being active, and sleeping well helped me. I also accepted that I cannot always do things perfectly, and was thankful for the good things in my life.

  • Where do I go to get help?

I could ask my family and my friends for help. If you need more support, check out these services.

  • What new thing can I try to help me overcome my challenge?

I will practice deep breathing and mindfulness for 5 to 10 minutes a day.

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