5 Tips on Combating the Big Bad Stress Monster

by Leigh Milligan, Head Editor, INALJ Wisconsin

5 Tips on Combating the Big Bad Stress Monster

Leigh MilliganWith the holidays coming up, it sure can be the most wonderful time of the year, but also, the most stressful time of the year.  The hustle-bustle of gift buying, event planning, cooking holiday meals can all contribute to holiday stress.  Holiday stress can really affect your health if you are not careful managing it.

The same advice one gives on how to cope with holiday stress can definitely go hand in hand with all the different stresses you may deal with in the job market. From job searching, to interviews, to following up after an interview, all of these things can be very stressful. You might even be stressed on at your current job, internship or volunteer gig.  My biggest stress right now is time management.  Being a volunteer for several organizations, working a full-time job, and in the process of buying a home, I have to remember to budget my time to make sure I meet all my deadlines, which can be very stressful.

I am going to share with you 5 tips on how to handle stress. These tips can be used for anything from the holidays to the job market or really any stresses of daily life.

  1. Go for a walk. Walking is said to decrease anxiety and improve sleep. I know I feel better when I go for a walk. It clears my head. I love walking! I spend a lot of time on the weekends just walking trails and around Philadelphia. I walk on my breaks at work to give me a break from my desk.  Try to find 15-30 minutes you have free in a day, trust me you will feel great!
  2. Find time to laugh. Laughter decreases stress hormones. Watch a comedy, a comedian or listen to a funny podcast. Or spend time with someone who makes you laugh.
  3. Listen to music. Music is a huge part of my life, so when I am stressed at work, driving or at home, I put the music on.  My music tastes are very mixed and I depend to choose what I listen to based on my mood, but Punk and Ska music tends to keep me calm.  But listen to a bunch of different music and find tunes that are best for you to keep you calm. Need some inspiration? Check out my buddy Claire of INALJ New Jersey’s Spotify playlist blog
  4. Exercise. Exercise can boost your mood up to 12 hours. I know it’s usually the last think you want to do when you are stressed, all I want to do is eat chocolate, but exercise is the more healthy route and you will feel so much better. And there are so many options for exercise. Running, Yoga, Zumba, Kickboxing or even going to the Gym. Any of these can be great relaxers and mood boosters.
  5. Thinking Positive. I’m guilty of being very hard on myself and thinking the worst. However negative thinking can trigger your body’s stress response that is not good for you. I am a victim of this: I do not feel well at all when I am stressed. Positive thinking will make your feel better and you will feel a lot more at ease taking on any challenges that come your way.   

Need more information or ideas on coping with Stress? Here are some additional resources:

25 Ways to Fight Holiday Stress

How to Keep Your Sanity While Job Hunting

Stress Management-Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress Management

The American Institute of Stress

And here’s a few blogs by INALJ Head Editors on handling stress:

Job Search Stress? Time for a Break!

Work/life balance, stress reduction, learning, and having fun

Don’t Let Job Searching Become a Path to Losing Your Mind

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