How to Deal With Stress

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Mental health is certainly not my field of expertise, but in learning my own lessons in stress management, I have a good grasp on some different ways to help deal with your own stress related issues.


sm Alice Mccall little miss mon bon stress 4sm Alice Mccall little miss mon bon stress 7Cotton On top | Alice McCall pants | Rivers Scarf | Bag from Indonesia | Zu heels
Photos: Chanelle Gibbs

As someone who suffers from anxiety, I am known for making mountains out of molehills and stressing myself out before properly understanding my situation. I often live in a state of stress or panic, and my poor partner has to deal with teary mid-morning phone calls, silent hissy fits I can’t explain, and me gnawing at my nails without realising, ALL. THE. TIME. Ok, so I am not at a 10/10 stress level 100% of the time, but I am definitely easily stressed.

Succumbing to stress so often, I have come to learn a number of things about myself and how I deal with stress, as well as understand that stress is just a part of life. It is something that we all have to teach ourselves to deal with. So, rather than tell you to go and work out or drink a mug of chamomile (as so many people tell you to), I thought I would give you my own learned tips on how to deal with stress…

Never compare your stressors with someone else’s stressors

Everyone is different and everyone is going to feel stressed over different things. The thought of going to university for the first time might be a huge deal to some people, but others might find the whole experience incredibly exciting.

Something an old friend told me – after I had just bawled my eyes out to him and immediately apologised in guilt because I knew he had issues of his own – was to never feel like your stress is stupid or menial, everyone has their own set of issues that they are dealing with. Sure, we could all tell ourselves off for stressing about not having saved as much money as we should have for our impending holiday when there are people in this world stressing about how they are going to feed themselves, but it isn’t to say that we should discount our stressor just because someone is worse off than us. However minor it may seem to others, if something is bugging you and causing you distress, it needs to be identified, acknowledged and understood in order to go about eliminating it.

sm Alice Mccall little miss mon bon stress 6Let yourself be stressed and/or upset

If something makes you want to cry or curl into a ball and sleep – do it (NB: only if you are in an environment where it is ok to do so – not at work). I am a big believer in acknowledging your emotions and understanding what a stressor is doing to you. You are only going to feel worse if you try to suppress the feelings that your stress is bringing up. In saying this, don’t let the stress get the better of you. React and let it all out before taking a big breath and regrouping yourself. Sometimes letting yourself succumb to your feelings allows you to get your head back in the game and work even harder to fight against your set backs.

Talk it over

Discussion is such a powerful thing. Never underestimate the power of talking to someone about what is bugging you – it is therapeutic in itself, but you can also start to piece together different bits of advice to help you through your issues. As mentioned in my first point, no stress is a stupid stress if it is affecting your mental state negatively, just make sure you find someone who understands that too.

If you have any other ‘less publicised’ tips to help with stress management, I would love to hear them! Feel free to let me know in the comment section below

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  1. Reply
    Yuliya Oleynykova

    The best thing that helps me to deal with stress is to take a warm bath with candles, salts etc. i need to unwind to be able to go further. Sometimes I find that shouting or singing out loud helps me a lot too. Have you tried?

  2. Reply

    I’m still trying to figure out the whole stress thing but talking it over, you are on the nail there, it is powerful especially for someone that tends to take on the burden in silence. I find a change of scenery even for 5 minutes helps break the cycle – the park, cafe or a long drive to explore a random place. Cutting out sugar on those stressful days helps with my anxiety too.

  3. Reply
    Annette @ Wellness WA

    Yoga, yoga, yoga! Also, I don’t drink coffee so I think that helps.

    And doing some running REALLY helps. And Vitamin B. And maybe even seeing a naturopath to make sure that all your stress hormones are in balance / you have the right balance of calcium, magnesium, iron, b vits etc as they can all play a role in monitoring your reactions to stress.

    I used to be quite similar but I find these days even SUPER annoying things don’t bother me anymore.

    Eg. I was late to my yoga course because it was my turn to bring snacks, I figured I’d just buy some on the way there. Drive 20 minutes to the shops to realise that I left my wallet at home, with no way of borrowing money or paying in another way and I was going to be super late to my class! So I calmly drove home, got my wallet, drove back to the shops, bought the snacks and then went to class 30 mins late – 5 years ago I would have blown my lid but it wasn’t even an issue!

    Then 2 days later, after spending an hour making a delicious meal, I was putting the cat out on the way to work and I dropped my bag, smashing the bowl of food in there. Again, I just got on with it. It still blows my mind a bit which is why I’m going on about it – haha.

    Cliffs: I think regular yoga helps a LOT 🙂 x

  4. Reply
    Anna Pullman

    Hi Mon, a timely reminder. Thank you. I teach stress management as part of my leadership programs. One of the things that has come up in recent research is that although ‘talking through the problem/stressor’ is fabulous and can help us to un pack things to understand them more deeply, it is super super important to always finish the conversation with a solution rather than it just being a vent session.

    You don’t necessarily need to find a solution to the stressor, but just an action item or a ‘where to from here’. It helps our brain not over dramatise. Sometimes when we ‘vent’, we feed off each others energy and actually start unknowingly making the situation worse than it actually is in reality, so by ending with some form of action item, it can help keep us grounded and out of our egos.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Stress is so different for everyone (like you say) so it’s great to get lots of different tips so we can work out what works for us.

    ACP Consulting and Food Prep Sundays

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