Coping with Stress

Woman feeling stressed with hand on forehead, looking down

Tips and Techniques for a Healthier Life

Stress is a common experience that everyone encounters at various points in their lives. Whether it’s work-related pressure, personal challenges, or the demands of everyday life, finding effective ways to manage stress is crucial for maintaining both mental and physical health. Here are some practical tips and techniques to help you cope with stress.

1. Identify the Source of Stress

Understanding what causes your stress is the first step in managing it. Keep a journal to track your stressors and note how you respond to them. This awareness can help you develop better coping strategies.

2. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can significantly reduce stress levels. By focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment, you can create a state of calm. Consider starting with a few minutes of meditation each day and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.

3. Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is a powerful stress reliever. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, on most days of the week.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Nutrition plays a vital role in how your body handles stress. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains can help stabilise your mood and energy levels. Avoid excessive caffeine, sugar, and processed foods.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress. Ensure you get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Establish a regular sleep routine, avoid screens before bedtime, and create a restful environment to improve your sleep hygiene.

6. Stay Connected

Strong social support can enhance your resilience to stress. Make time to connect with friends and family, share your feelings, and seek support when needed. Sometimes just talking about your stress can make it feel more manageable.

7. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can quickly calm your mind and body. Techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing, where you breathe deeply into your belly, can help reduce stress. Try inhaling for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and exhaling for a count of four.

8. Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps and focus on completing them one at a time. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.

9. Learn to Say No

Overcommitting yourself can lead to increased stress. Learn to set boundaries and say no to requests that add unnecessary pressure. Prioritize your time and energy on what truly matters to you.

10. Engage in Hobbies and Interests

Taking time for activities you enjoy can be a great way to relieve stress. Whether it’s reading, gardening, painting, or playing a musical instrument, engaging in hobbies can provide a mental break and bring joy into your life.

11. Seek Professional Help

If stress becomes overwhelming and begins to interfere with your daily life, consider seeking help from a mental health professional. Therapists and counsellors can provide strategies and support to help you manage stress more effectively.

12. Practice Gratitude

Focusing on positive aspects of your life can help shift your perspective and reduce stress. Keep a gratitude journal where you write down things, you’re thankful for each day. This practice can boost your mood and overall well-being.


Coping with stress is a vital skill that requires ongoing practice and attention. By incorporating these tips and techniques into your daily routine, you can build resilience and improve your ability to handle stress. Remember, it’s important to find what works best for you and make self-care a priority in your life.


Kelly Combe
Kelly Combe Counselling and holistic therapy