Stress management tips from our favourite retired psychologist, Don Townsend.

Krista Nelson • Jul 14, 2021

Stress management and self care tips. 

When a problem comes up, pause and step back, and ask yourself how important it really is……. our first sense of things is that they always seem bigger issues (with more consequences for us) than is usually the case.

In stressful times, selective self-disclosing to someone you trust as to what is troubling you and how it makes you feel, tends to help settle you, plus facilitates helpful support from your confidant. Similarly journaling in troubling times can be helpful - again describing both the issue involved and naming the emotion you are feeling.

Practicing staying in the moment with whatever you are doing (e.g., being attentive to a conversation, or enjoying the peaceful quiet of an early morning walk) is both soothing but enriches life in the moment.

A good self-care practice is to regularly cue yourself to slow your breathing down to a nice comfortable pace accentuating/stretching out the length of time you are exhaling.

Spending some time remembering and rolling over in your mind, the range of things you have done in terms of a favourite hobby can be a soothing, and - at night - a sleep-promoting activity.

Managing your time in terms of realistically laying out what you want to accomplish, and allowing for reasonable time to complete tasks and reasonable breaks and limits on the time you will spend working, helps you to have reasonable expectations of yourself and greater satisfaction, and less stress, in getting things done.