Posted on 29 Comments

Manage Your Stress

Image for post

Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

Learn how to reclaim your emotions and your life

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at different times in our lives. Our lives have without preamble been turned upside down. We could never have predicted the current situation that has become our ‘new normal”. Our stress levels are at an all time high! While some folks seem to have various methods of coping, others encounter varying degrees of difficulty in managing their stress levels.

Image for post

Image credit:

Stress is often the result of mental or emotional pressures. You feel overwhelmed with life. The disconnect begins with a real or perceived demand placed on your brain or your physical body. The stress is compounded when multiple competing stressors are placed on us. Presently we are faced with many unpleasant stimuli and this may cause us to feel incapable of holding the reigns.

We try valiantly to hang on but may become unable to and just let go, retreating into ourselves.

A funny image of a man unable to keep a hold of the reigns to his horse.

Image credit:

Stress can present in one of two ways:

  • Acute stress


  • Chronic stress

Acute stress:

Acute stress has its origins in the fight-or-flight response. It is the body’s signal of imminent danger that alerts us to the presence of a threat and prepares us to fight or to take flight. It is part of our built-in protective mechanism.

Chronic stress:

This type is more insidious, the stressor remains for longer periods of time, and will generally affect your health and your everyday lives. This ongoing stress produces symptoms, such as, shortness of breath, headaches and insomnia, etc. These chronic-stress responses are sneaky and subtle than those of the acute-stress response, but their effects are longer lasting and way more problematic.

Stress may also be triggered by sudden emotional changes, i.e., a loss or a change in your living situation, our health and our world, e.g., COVID-19.

A funny and utilitarian sign that states: Stress Relief at the next exit.

image credit:

Some ways to manage are:

  • Get enough rest
  • Take deep breaths
  • Use guided imagery
  • Recognize factors that trigger your stress
  • Keep a diary, things seem much less threatening when you see it in writing
  • Try progressive relaxation
  • Laugh
  • Music / dance
  • Get a massage
  • Meditate
  • Get physical e.g., yoga, exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Limit caffeine & alcohol
  • Avoid illicit drugs, they may make stress and anxiety worse
  • Get moving, change your scenery e.g., take a walk
  • Try medication therapy
  • Develop some hobbies

Deep breathing − Breathe in slowly through your nose. Hold your breath for about 3 seconds. Exhale slowly out your mouth. Close your eyes, if you can and concentrate on controlling and slowing down your breathing.

Guided imagery − Close your eyes and picture a safe, peaceful scene. Choose some place you love and where you feel safe. Concentrate on the details of the scene and remember how you feel when you are there.

Progressive relaxation − Sit or lie quietly. Start by making a group of muscles tense or tight and then relax them. Tense your muscles for at least 5 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat. Then, move to another group.

Laughter − Laughing helps lower stress. Try watching a comedy on television. Tell funny stories. Share jokes, books or laugh with a friend.

Music − If you love music like I do, this is a surefire way to allay feelings of stress and anxiety and help you to relax. If you play an instrument, now is a good time to give it a go.

Massage − We all know the joys and benefits of a good massage, get a back rub from someone you feel safe with just bask in the presence of their companionship.

Meditation − Do a familiar activity that calms you and helps you clear your mind. If a walk or a run helps you to feel calm, do so in a safe space.

Take a 10-second break − You may feel very stressed but not able to leave where you are. If so, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 seconds, e.g., on an airplane.

Yoga or other forms of martial arts− These slow and purposeful body movements coupled with deep breathing, serves to take your focus off the stressor and can help you feel better.

Limit/stop caffeine, alcohol and illicit street drugs — these substances can all cause/increase stress and anxiety, so avoid them when and if possible.

Finally medication therapy — talk to your healthcare provider about what medication / therapeutic options are available and may be effective for your particular situation. Together you can initiate therapy that still allows you to remain a productive member of society.

3 red puzzle interconnected pieces labelled laughter, yoga and connections.

image credit:

With our lives are turned inside out and our current circumstances are extremely stressful, we hopefully have the support of family and friends. We should seek out resources to that offer assistance as well as use some of the techniques set out above in learning to cope and self de-stress for better mental health.


29 thoughts on “Manage Your Stress

  1. Pene, this excellent advice comes at a time when we need it most: covid19, wildfires, hurricanes, explosions, nasty politics, police brutality…

    I am experiencing insomnia sometimes, and when I list all the stressors, it isn’t surprising. 🙂 Take care, Cheryl <3

    1. Take care as well. We will not let these times define us,

  2. Informative. 💯
    I engage music and rest when I am stressed. 😊
    Wishing you a great day sis. ❤

    1. I love love love music, good ones to speak to my soul. I listen on my way to work and home.
      Lots of blessings to you.

  3. Excellent post Pene!

    You provided so many ways to help manage stress. I find that when starting a new habit I pick only one, which is hard because you want change quickly, because it offers a greater possibility to master quickly, then move in to the one.

    And truly, most of your ideas cost nothing more than time 😃❤️

    1. Good morning, you are so correct. Have a great day.

      1. Thanks Pene. Hoping you’re back to your normal.

        1. Yes, praise God I am. I was listening to NPR news today and realized 200,000 persons died of COVID and I became so emotional thinking how blessed I am. My brother-in-law, my dad less than a month ago and many others fiends of friends that I have heard of.
          Thank you for checking up and for all the well wishes. Be blessed.

  4. lots of logical wisdom here .. but why the link to a drug site?

    1. That link was meant to be my info reference. But it did not work out that way.

      1. ouch those WP gremlins!

    2. I have to fix that link, thank you for the heads up.

      1. welcome I just wont click on links here in future in case … I’m strongly anti-pharma 🙂

        1. I am not for touting big pharma as well. That Lexicom is actually a program we use at work for easy to understand discharge instructions.
          I will just remove the link.
          Thank you.

          1. lol I had no idea it was work related … are you working from home then?

            1. No, sometimes I begin my posts at work and complete at home. I wish I could, but no, I am in the hospital.

              1. is that how you caught covid?

                1. I assume so as I work in the ER. No one in my home has had it, thank God. But several persons at my job did.

                  1. ouch, hope they looked after you with leave etc. And thanks for all your hard work 🙂

                    1. No such luck my friend, I had to use my PTO for the first seven days and I am still working on the short-term disability.
                      Hope you have a great day.

                    2. ouch your system sucks … take care!

  5. It is always a pleasure to talk with Just Pene. I do appreciate the words we share about things. You are a good, well , centered lady. Never give up. The only to succeed is never give up.

    1. Thank you kind sir. Sometimes the punch knocks us down. We lay there a minute to catch our breaths then we must rise up…lol
      Have a great day.

      1. Thank you. Yes, it is hard to get up once we are knocked down. Yes, we must get up and go forth.

  6. Great post! Very informative.

  7. Stress and Health – What is Stress? How to manage / reduce stress

Hello and welcome! Thank you for visiting, commenting, liking and/or following along on this adventure.. 🤗

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.