Be Good to Yourself

People who don't deal positively with stressful situations leave themselves wide open to getting sick. Migraines, ulcers, backaches and heart attacks are just some of the consequences if you don't manage stress. It's not the stress that causes problems but the wrong choices we make when we try to deal with life.

If you have time off at the holidays, treat yourself to some tender loving care and try these tips to protect yourself against the evils of stress.

  • Start a regular exercise program. You may think you're getting exercise by doing your job but that's not what the doctor calls for. An activity as simple as taking a walk can help you get rid of the chemicals that invade your body when you are stressed.
  • Leave your job at school. Don't spend the evening wondering whether you could have handled a situation differently or gotten more work done. Tomorrow is another day.
  • Be good to yourself. Treat yourself to a nice dinner or buy yourself something you've been wanting.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleeping on the couch in front of the television doesn't count.
  • Eat healthy. When you're stressed, your body needs nutrients for energy. If you don't have a stockpile of these vitamins and minerals, you get tired or sick.
  • Get a hobby. Concentrating on a project or hobby will keep you from thinking about work.
  • Find a friend. Pick someone who can be a trusted listener. He/she may not be able to make your problem go away, but talking to him/her can relieve stress. Don't vent in public places. Find a private place to talk.
  • Don't feel you have to do everything. You can't and you won't. Get over it.
  • Don't put off things you have to do. Do the tough stuff early in the day when you are fresh and have energy.
  • Recognize and accept your limits. Set reasonable goals. You'll never be perfect.
  • Learn to tolerate and forgive. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes and see the situation from their perspective. You don't have to agree with everyone or like everyone but you do need to respect their opinions.
  • Learn to plan. Disorganization leads to stress. Develop your own personal style for getting things done.
  • Be a positive person. Don't criticize your colleagues. Try to focus on their good qualities.
  • Get rid of worry. Forty percent of what people worry about never happens; 35 percent can't be changed; 15 percent of things turn out better than expected; 8 percent is needless concern; and only 2 percent really deserves attention.
  • Learn to play. Find an escape from the pressures of work. Laugh and have fun regularly.