Plan to Deal with Your Own Stress
Understand what causes you stress, when you are likely to become stressed, and how you can avoid these situations. To help, it can be useful to think about previous times that were stressful for you and remember how you felt, how you reacted and behaved, what the result was, and whether, with the benefit of hindsight, you handled it in the best way possible.
Take responsibility: Too often, people either deny their problem, in which case it will almost certainly worsen, or blame someone (or something) else. Even if it is the fault of someone else, it is you that is being affected and you that needs to resolve it. People are often too afraid, ashamed, or uncertain to admit that they are suffering from stress, but the longer they deny the problem, the worse the effects of the downward cycle.
Consider what is causing stress: Is it resulting from the job, your role, work relationships, change, or something else, perhaps not work-related at all? Knowing the symptoms and acknowledging the existence of stress is really only the start: the next key step is to identify the source of the stress. It can often be caused by an accumulation of factors piling onto each other. The solution is to rationally consider how to take down the wall that is encircling you, brick by brick. Stress is rarely removed in one clean sweep but often requires action in a range of areas.
Anticipate stressful periods (either at work or home) and plan for them: This may include getting temporary resources or people with specific skills to help during a particular period.
Develop strategies for handling stress: Consider what may have worked for you in the past, what you did and how successful it was. Also consider removing or reducing the cause of stress, or learning to accept it if it cannot be removed.
Understand and use management techniques to prevent or reduce stress: For example, time management and assertiveness are two of the most important skills in reducing and handling stress, as many difficulties are caused either by time pressures or relationship issues that could be prevented by more assertive, controlled behaviour. Communication, decision-making, and problem-solving also have much to offer once the problem has been acknowledged and the sources of stress are identified.
Relax! This is easier said than done, but the key is to understand that you need to work at relaxing. This may mean planning a holiday or finding a hobby that suits you best and then absorbing yourself in it. At work too, try to take regular breaks away from your desk. A five minute stroll outside can revive worn-out eyes, brains, and nerves. Time away from the causes of stress can help to put the situation in perspective and lead to a new approach that provides a solution.