From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook March 1999:
Getting A Handle On Stress and Distress
from Rambling Rosebud; via Oklahoma City
- WORK OFF STRESS: If you are angry or upset, try to blow off
steam physically by activities such as running, playing tennis, or
gardening. Even taking a walk can help. Physical activity allows you a
"fight" outlet for mental stress.
- TALK OUT YOUR WORRIES: It helps to share worries with someone
you trust and respect. This may be a friend, family member, clergyman,
teacher, or counselor. Sometimes another person can help you see a new
side to your problem and thus, a new solution. If you find yourself
becoming preoccupied with emotional problems, it might be wise to seek a
professional listener, like a guidance counselor or psychologist. This
is not admitting defeat. It is admitting you are an intelligent human
being who knows when to ask for assistance.
- LEARN TO ACCEPT WHAT YOU CANNOT CHANGE: If the problem is
beyond your control at this time, try your best to accept it until you
can change it. It beats spinning your wheels, and getting nowhere.
- AVOID SELF-MEDICATION: Although there are many chemicals,
including alcohol, that can mask stress symptoms, they do not help you
adjust to the stress itself. Many are habit-forming, so the decision to
use them should belong to your doctor. It is a form of flight reaction
that can cause more stress than it solves. The ability to handle stress
comes from within you, not from the outside.
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND REST: Lack of sleep can lessen your
ability to deal with stress by making you more irritable. Most people
need at least seven to eight hours of sleep out of every 24. If stress
repeatedly prevents you from sleeping, inform your doctor.
- BALANCE WORK AND RECREATION: "All work and no play can make
Jack a nervous wreck." Schedule time for recreation to relax your mind.
Although inactivity can cause boredom, a little loafing can ease stress.
This should not be a constant escape, but occasionally, you deserve a
- DO SOMETHING FOR OTHERS: Sometimes when you are distressed,
you concentrate too much on yourself and your situation. When this
happens, it is often wise to do something for someone else, and get your
mind off of yourself. There is an extra bonus in this technique--it
helps make friends.
- TAKE ONE THING AT A TIME: It is defeating to tackle all your
tasks at once. Instead, set some aside and work on the most urgent.
- GIVE IN ONCE IN AWHILE: If you find the source of your stress
is other people, try giving in instead of fighting and insisting you are
always right. You may find that others will begin to give in, too.
- MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE: When you are bored and feel left
out, go where the action is! Sitting alone will just make you more
frustrated. Instead of withdrawing and feeling sorry for yourself, get
involved. Is there a play or musical coming up? Chances are they will
need help backstage. Get yourself back there and somebody will probably
hand you a hammer or paint brush.
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