Taking charge of stress

Success/coping with stress

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What It Does

This article talks about:

checkmarkCauses of stress
checkmarkStrategies for managing stress
checkmarkHow to make healthier lifestyle choices

How It Helps

This resource will help you learn coping strategies such as:

checkmarkSetting and prioritizing your goals
checkmarkKnowing your limits and learning how to say "no"
checkmarkReframing the problem at hand

This article talks about:

checkmarkCauses of stress
checkmarkStrategies for managing stress
checkmarkHow to make healthier lifestyle choices

This resource will help you learn coping strategies such as:

checkmarkSetting and prioritizing your goals
checkmarkKnowing your limits and learning how to say "no"
checkmarkReframing the problem at hand

Save this resource

In addition to resources like this one, Homewood Health and Kids Help Phone also offer 24/7 confidential counselling at no cost.

If you'd like to speak to somebody, you can call or text the numbers below:

📞 Phone. Call 1-866-585-0445 (Adults) or 1-888-668-6810 (Youth) to speak with a counsellor.

📱 Text (SMS). Text WELLNESS to 741741 (Adult) or 686868 (Youth) to connect with a trained volunteer crisis responder for support.

However, If you’re interested in finding more resources like this one, including self-guided courses, webinars, peer-to-peer support groups, live counselling, mindfulness meditations, and more, you can create an account for free. You’ll also be able to complete a wellness assessment and track your progress towards your wellness goals.


Thinking about how to manage stress may be the last thing on your mind right now. It may be that you are just coming back to work after a nice relaxing holiday, and life feels pretty good. But inevitably, September comes and the kids are back to school, work gears back up, and before we know it, today’s fast-paced lifestyle takes over and we’re feeling burned out again.

What can we do now to ensure we don’t end up paying a toll with our health, vitality, and peace-of-mind? Here are some suggestions for increasing stress resistance and avoiding burnout down the road:

  • Re-evaluate your goals and prioritize them. Evaluate the demands on you in terms of your goals and then identify your ability to meet those demands.

  • Learn how to say “no.” Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or professional life, taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.

  • Re-evaluate your to-do list. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list, or eliminate them entirely.

  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will remain a source of stress.

Taking Charge of Stress  

  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a healthy & balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and having enough restful sleep goes a long way when it comes to managing stress.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control— particularly the behaviour of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to perceived problems.

“If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Challenge yourself to eliminate words such as 'always,' 'never,' 'should,' and 'must.' These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts and a source of stress."

  • Re-frame your problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favourite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.

  • Keep the big picture in perspective. Ask yourself how important whatever is happening will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month, or a year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.

  • Take time to plan ahead. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.

  • Don’t try to be perfect. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Don’t set yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”

  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective. Make a change! How you think has a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation.

The body’s natural relaxation response is a powerful antidote to stress. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and yoga can help you activate this relaxation response. With regular practice, these activities can lead to a reduction in your everyday stress levels. What’s more, they also have a protective quality, teaching you how to stay calm and collected if life should throw you any curveballs.

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