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Friday, May 2, 2014

Tips for Managing Stress

The amount of stress in my house this week has been completely through the roof; I've been hiding out (not blogging) because I can't seem to focus on anything. Chris and I have been faced with some hard decisions as parents and trying to navigate our way through it all has been hard. Actually, hard is a complete understatement. Through it all, we have been and will continue to be by each others side - and without him, I'm pretty sure this week would have devastated me. We've managed to help each other reduce our stress a little bit at a time, day after day. 

I'm not one who typically gets overly stressed out, but after this week I've learned some new coping skills and I thought that it might be beneficial for some of you if I shared them. 

Stay Connected

In stressful times it is important to stay connected to those who are close to you. Reach out to your partner or family and friends. Seek advice from a trusted source or just chat with a close friend. Sometimes it helps to just have someone who will listen. It's best to express your  feelings instead of bottling them up. 

Avoid the Stressor

If at all possible, avoid the source of your stress. If a person at work is causing you undue grief, stay away from them as much as possible. If it's a situation in your life that you have to face, do so head on but try not to dwell on it for long. Do what needs to be done and move on.

Stand Your Ground

Make your decisions and do not falter. You know what is best for you and those around you and although some decisions are hard to make you must do what is the most beneficial for yourself and/or family. Be assertive. 

Don't Try to Control Everything and Don't Worry Unnecessarily

Unfortunately there are times in life where you just can't control every  aspect of a situation. You shouldn't spend too much time analyzing, worrying, and trying to figure out every little detail. This is easier said than done but if you can focus on the here and now you will be better off. 

Take a Deep Breath and Relax

Take a hot shower, go for a walk, laugh, enjoy the company of others, write in your journal or sweat our your stress with a good work out. Do something that will relax you and center your focus elsewhere beyond whatever is stressing you out. 

Everything I've mentioned above we've put into play this last week. I've stayed connected with Chris, my mom, his mom, and other family and friends. They've listened, given affirmation that we're doing the right thing, supported, and given advice. Without them I would still be second guessing our decisions. I've avoided the situation as much as possible when I could and I've stood my ground and will continue to do so. I will not waiver in my decision. I am guilty of over analyzing and worrying about things that I have no control over. I'm trying to let go of that and focus on the things that I can control. Chris has really helped me to relax. Hot showers, coffee on the porch (our favorite), couch cuddles, and late night talks have helped to soothe our souls. 

Friends, if you are dealing with way too much stress I hope that these tips will help you. If you need a friend to talk to, I'm available. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we navigate through this trying time. 
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