5. Talk to Someone
Just talking to someone about how you feel can be helpful. Talking can work by either distracting you from your stressful thoughts or releasing some of the built-up tension by discussing it.
Stress can cloud your judgement and prevent you from seeing things clearly. Talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or even a trained professional, can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective.
6. Keep a Stress Diary
Keeping a stress diary for a few weeks is an effective stress management tool as it will help you become more aware of the situations which cause you to become stressed.
Note down the date, time and place of each stressful episode, and note what you were doing, who you were with, and how you felt both physically and emotionally. Give each stressful episode a stress rating (on, say, a 1-10 scale) and use the diary to understand what triggers your stress and how effective you are in stressful situations. This will enable you to avoid stressful situations and develop better coping mechanisms.
8. Manage Your Time
At times, we all feel overburdened by our ‘To Do’ list and this is a common cause of stress. Accept that you cannot do everything at once and start to prioritize and diarize your tasks.
Make a list of all the things that you need to do and list them in order of genuine priority. Note what tasks you need to do personally and what can be delegated to others to do. Record which tasks need to be done immediately, in the next week, in the next month, or when time allows.
By editing what might have started out as an overwhelming and unmanageable task list, you can break it down into a series of smaller, more manageable tasks spread out over a longer time frame, with some tasks removed from the list entirely through delegation.
Remember as well to create buffer times to deal with unexpected and emergency tasks, and to include time for your own relaxation and well-being.
Come to the SMART Lab blog on Mondays for your weekly stress reduction tip!
10. Rest If You Are Ill
If you are feeling unwell, do not feel that you have to carry on regardless. A short spell of rest will enable the body to recover faster.
If you want more tips, then schedule a session at http://meetme.so/smartlab
Individual sessions are available for fall semester; just schedule a time at http://meetme.so/smartlab. We use Heart Rate Variability (HRV) Biofeedback technology to monitor physical indicators of stress and teach techniques to reduce stress; the best part is that you get to see the techniques work in real time!