Experiencing stress is a natural part of life, but ongoing stress can be draining. While life’s challenges can create stress, things like cost of living, discrimination and climate concerns also have huge impacts.
Dealing with stress
When we are feeling stressed, our body often goes into a flight, fight, freeze response. Here are some ideas to help with these feelings and approach things with a clear head:
- Take some deep breaths: This can help to bring your heart rate down and let your body relax.
- Activate your senses: Try taking a cold shower, eating something spicy or drinking a hot drink.
- What gets you out of your head for a little while? Try listening to music you love, getting out of the house, helping a friend to run errands.
- Try the tools on Small Steps to learn strategies to manage stress.
Dealing with stressors
From breaking challenges into smaller tasks to talking it out, find what helps you deal with stress:
- Write it down to get it out of your head.
- Kōrero – talk with someone you trust. Ask them if it’s okay to vent or ask them for advice.
- Break the problem down into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can do one by one.
- Reflect on how you use things like smoking, drinking and drugs to manage stress and how you might want this to change.
While systemic issues might seem overwhelming, collective efforts like advocacy or community support can help. Volunteering New Zealand can connect you to volunteering opportunities close to you.
Remember, looking for support and connecting with others can help during challenging times.