Stress is a part of life, and you can’t always avoid it. You can however, try to avoid situations that cause it.You control how you respond to it. The first step is knowing your own coping strategies. Try using a stress journal to record stressful events, your response to them, and how you coped. After you know what is causing your stress,make changes in your life that will help you avoid stress and other stressful situations Manage your time Time management is a way to find the time for more of the things you want and need to do. It helps you decide which things are urgent and which can wait. Managing your time can make your life easier, less stressful, and more meaningful. For more information, see: Look at your lifestyle The choices you make about the way you live affect your stress level. Your lifestyle may not cause stress on its own, but it can prevent your body from recovering from it. Balance between personal, work, and family needs. This isn’t easy.

Start by looking at how you spend your time. Maybe there are things that you don’t need to do at all. Finding a balance can be especially hard during the holidays. Reducing Holiday Stress Have a sense of purpose in life. Many people find meaning through connections with family, friends, jobs, or volunteer work. Get enough sleep. Your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping. Adopt healthy habits Eat a healthy diet, limit how much alcohol you drink, and don’t smoke. Staying healthy is your best defense against stress. Exercise. Even moderate exercise, such as taking a daily walk, can reduce stress. Get support Support in your life from family, friends, and your community has a big impact on how you experience stress. Having support in your life can help you stay healthy. Support means having the love, trust, and advice of others. But support can also be something more concrete, like time or money. It can be hard to ask for help. But doing so doesn’t mean you’re weak. If you’re feeling stressed, you can look for support from Family and friends. Coworkers, or people you know through hobbies or other interests. Learning how to manage your stress can go a long way with managing your pain. It does the body and the mind well to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. For more information about stress and their effects visit our website at www.freeofpain.org.