Supporting the Mental Health of South African NPO's


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self help tips for stress


When stress does occur, it is important to recognize and deal with it. Here suggestions for ways to deal with stress. As you begin to understand more about how stress affects you as an individual, you will come up with your own what of helping to ease the tensions.

Try physical activity: When you’re nervous, angry, or upset, release the pressure through exercise or physical activity. Running walking, playing tennis or working in your garden are just some of the activities you might try. Physical exercise will relieve that ‘uptight’ feeling, relax you, and turn frowns into smiles. Remember, your body and your mind work together.

Share your stress: It helps to talk to someone about your concerns or worries. Perhaps a friend, family member, teacher, or counselor can help you see your problem in a different light. If you feel your problem is serious, you might seek help from a professional psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional. Knowing when to ask for help may avoid more serious problems later.

Knowing your limits: If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, don’t fight the situation. Learn to accept what is -for now- until such time when you can change it.

Take care of yourself: You are special. Get enough rest and eat well. If you are irritable and tense from lack of sleep or if you are not eating correctly, you will have less ability to deal with stressful situations. If stress repeatedly keeps you from sleeping, you should ask your doctor for help.

Make time for fun: Schedule time for both work and recreation. Play can be just as important to your will being as work; you need a break from your daily routine to just relax and have fun.

Be a participant: One way to keep you from getting bored, sad and lonely is to go where it’s all happening. Sitting alone can make you feel frustrated. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get involved and become a participant. Offer your services in neighborhood or volunteer organizations. Help yourself by helping other people. Get involved in the world and other people, and you will find they are attracted to you. You will be on your way to finding new friends and enjoying new activities.

Check off your tasks: Trying to take care of everything at once can seem overwhelming, and, as a result, you may not accomplish anything. Instead, make a list of what tasks you have to do, then do them one at a time, checking them off as they are completed. Give priority to the most important ones and do them first.

Must you always be right? Do other people upset you? Particularly when things aren’t going your way? Try cooperation instead of confrontation; it’s better than fighting and always being ‘right’. A little give and take on both sides will reduce the strain and make you both feel more comfortable.

It’s OK to cry: A good cry can be a healthy way to bring relief to your anxiety, and it may even prevent a headache or other physical consequence.Take some deep breaths; they also release tension.

Create a quiet scene: You can’t always run away, but you can “dream the impossible dream”. A quiet country scene painted mentally, or canvas, can take you out of the turmoil of a stressful situation. Change the scene by reading a book or playing beautiful music to create a sense of peace or tranquility.

Avoid self medication: Although you can use prescription or over the counter medication to relieve stress temporarily, they do remove the conditions that caused the stress in the first place. They should only be taken on the advice of your doctor.

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