Monday, June 09, 2014


Stress is unavoidable, but you can manage it

Let’s face it: stress is a constant in our lives and cannot be avoided. So, stress management is the key, not stress elimination.  Here are several ways to help us manage stress in our daily life.

•  Cut down on unnecessary responsibilities and avoid over-scheduling.  It takes practice, but saying “No” to extra projects and social activities won’t result in the end of the world. 

•  Get away from the noise.  Wear earplugs. Everybody needs at least 15 minutes a day of quiet time – away from worries, phones, and noise. 

•  Exercise.  We are all well aware that exercise is essential for health.  Whether it is gardening, swimming, hiking, Zumba, Jazzercise, gym workouts, or brisk walking, 30 minutes of active movement a day is really optimal.

•  Learn relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Simply sitting quietly and listening to soft music can have a calming effect.

•  Make time for leisure activities.  Every day, do something you really enjoy.   

•  Get a massage.  I was not really a fan of massages until my friend became a massage therapist opened a studio, and offered some discounted sessions.  Now, it is my favorite gift to myself, family and friends.

•  Create order out of chaos. This is my husband’s favorite tip, and one that I find to be my biggest challenge. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are.  Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things and trying frantically to find them.

•  Have an optimistic view of the world.  The Texas Woman’s University Counseling Center suggests, “Believe that most people are doing the best they can.”  For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 50 or 100 blessings.  All we have to do is count them!

Alice Facente is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal healthcare provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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