Learning how to deal with stress is an important life skill, as stress affects all of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes we may be affected indirectly when a loved one faces extreme stress. These cases are particularly difficult, as we are coping not only with our own stress, but we also need to support that loved one and help him cope as well.
Often, the best way you can help a loved one get through a stressful time is by just being there. Having someone to vent to, whom you trust that will fully listen to your problems is a wonderful stress reliever.
Stress can come about when a person becomes overwhelmed with too much to do. Offer to lend a helping hand. See what tasks you can help with or do for your loved one so they can reduce the burden of a too-long to do list.
Suggest relaxation time to your loved one and help her to get away from it all and get her mind off her stressors. Whisk your friend or family member away with you to spend a day relaxing at the beach or watching the latest hit comedy at the theater. Your show of love and support will be greatly appreciated.
Help your loved one stay fit. Exercise helps to reduce stress and the tension that accompanies it. Offer to take an exercise class with your friend or meet for a morning or evening walk several times a week. Walking together serves a dual purpose - it allows time to get things off your chest, which is great for mental well being, while also improving your overall fitness level. Exercise is one of the best stress management tools around.
If your loved one has children, offer to babysit and allow your friend to have some alone time to relax and concentrate solely on herself. Parents often lose the opportunity to have any alone time which can be very important in order to fully de-stress.
You're sitting in heavy traffic, late for your daughter's soccer game and your two preschoolers are having a shouting match in the backseat. Your daughter is complaining, "Why are we always late?" Your heart rate is rising and your muscles are tense.
Coping with stress requires a conscious effort each day. Take time out for yourself, even if only for 30 minutes, to focus reducing stress.