to accompany and give back hope

Parish Nursing Bulletin



Series on Stress: Part 2

Ways of Managing Stress

The good news is that there are several approaches to managing stress! Since our perception of what is stressful is highly individual, we must first learn to identify our particular responses to stressors (e.g. headaches, upset stomachs, anxiety, sleep disturbances, irritability, etc.) and the situations that trigger these responses (e.g. family fight, overwork, financial problems, etc.).

Then we need to choose strategies that help us manage our stress effectively. In the short term, taking a break is helpful (reading, music, a good movie or TV program, a hobby, etc.). On a longer-term basis, we can work toward feeling more in control by realistically appraising the threat and our resources, and seeking more resources and help as needed. When we are calm, we need to address the person or situation causing the stress and negotiate a reasonable solution.

Developing a healthy lifestyle also improves stress management (exercise, good nutrition, relaxation strategies, meditation, massage, etc.). Finally, increasing and using our social and spiritual support networks (e.g. time with friends & family, talking with someone you trust, prayer, etc.) are very important methods of managing stress.


Give yourself a break.
Eat a healthy diet.
Talk it out with a friend.
Spend time with family and friends.
Take a course for learning or fun.
Relax…with a good book, music…
Exercise…walk, jog, swim, dance…
Set priorities.
Schedule your time.
Find other sources of satisfaction.
Increase your awareness of what causes your stress.
Take action to change the situation.


© 2009 Parish Nursing Ministry