You may know that I published a book earlier this year through W. W. Norton on stress management titled, "8 Keys to Stress Management." It's part of their "8 Keys to Mental Health" series, a collection of books that incorporate research-based, proven strategies for better living, with plenty of easily-implemented strategies for increasing your emotional wellbeing. The book provides a large amount of easily-digestible and practical information on stress management, and I've had very positive feedback from it so far. (You can read some of the reviews here, here and here.) And the good news is that my publisher is running a free giveaway of the book through Goodreads! That means if you enter to win (which is quite easy--I've entered several book giveaways through Goodreads in the past and it takes minutes, and I've won!) you could win the copy that they're giving away this week.
If you're interested in winning a free copy of the book, visit the Goodreads Giveaway page and enter! You'll find some other great books to win there, too. And while you wait to see if you've won, you can peruse the resources below for some more stress management help. Good luck!
How To Cope With Stress Simply And Effectively
As I've said many times, stress management shouldn't be stressful! Here are some simple and effective ways to manage the stress in your life, starting now.
Use The Body Scan Meditation To Relax Your Body
Relaxing your body can also help you to relax your mind--when you are physically more relaxed, your thinking becomes less distracted and your creativity can come out more easily. This effective physical relaxation tool has been used by many, many people as a quick and easy route to relaxation. Give it a try!
When And How To Take A Mental Health Day
You may not have time to take a "mental health day" today, but today is a day to consider whether you might benefit from one, and plan when and how you would take it. This article can give you motivation and inspiration.
Again, you can find more stress management resources on Facebook--find our page and be sure to "like" for regular updates and discussions.
Photo from iStockPhoto.com
Quizzes | Ongoing Resources
Many people are concerned about how their kids are going to handle receiving less-extravagant gifts this year, or how they can pare down the gift exchanges without sacrificing the joy of giving (and receiving!) that we all enjoy. This is a significant source of stress for many people, on top of the regular holiday stress that many of us already experience this season. If you're stressed about this, here are some things to keep in mind:
- We already know this, but sometimes forget that kids can grow from facing challenges. Meeting the challenge of getting less expensive gifts this holiday season can help them grow in their appreciation of the more important things, like family and giving to others.
- Many, many people are in the same boat. This means that people will generally understand and often appreciate attempts to pare down the expense of the holiday celebrations this year.
- You can still enjoy the holiday season while spending less. In fact, this season could be one of the more special ones you celebrate. Get creative, and you can hold onto what's important with less expense.
More Holiday Resources from Elizabeth Scott:
- Why We Go Into Debt for Holiday Gifts
While money is tight for many people, most of us seem to spend more than we'd like to on holiday gifts, resulting in widespread holiday debt. What's behing the spending? Here are some reasons behind holiday debt.
- Thoughtful But Cheap Christmas Gift Ideas
Instead of going into debt again this year, why not try a new Christmas gift-giving tradition this holiday season? These Christmas gift giving ideas can help you save money while perhaps even heightening the thoughtfulness and love of the holidays.
- Stress-Relieving Gifts for Every Budget
Why not give a gift that helps relieve stress? Here are some of my favorites.
In the process of simplifying, I discovered that I could do many of these things, but to a lesser degree. Or, I could go all-out in some areas, and take shortcuts in others: I could do a simplified version of the holiday card, but still make the scrapbooks, or I could just give framed photos or email slideshows and put more attention into holiday cards. I could focus more energy on specific areas that were most important to my family that year. Letting go of my holiday overdoing was liberating!
If you find that your holidays get a little overloaded with holiday overdoing, here are some holiday shortcuts that you can use to create more time and relieve holiday stress.
Black Friday isn't for the faint of heart. From an outsider's perspective, it can be a day of craziness and stress: shoppers can get more aggressive as prices get lower and sleep is replaced with coffee and nerves. However, if you focus on the sales, make a plan, and get into the right attitude (think: adventure!) Black Friday can be a day of saving that can reduce holiday debt (and the associated stress involved), and bring a sense of accomplishment. You can also be done with your shopping early, so you don't have to stress about it during the holiday season!
Read on for Black Friday stress relief tips:
- How To Survive Black Friday With Less Stress
- Get the Best Bargains on Black Friday
- Holiday Survival Guide
However, as these experiences pile up, the holiday season can move from wonderful to overwhelming. For example, buying a gift for a loved one can be a delicious experience; buying gifts for all of your loved ones at once--when everyone else in town is doing the same and seemingly in line in front of you--can be a frantic experience! Ditto for cards, parties, baking, etc. In fact, by the time the holidays are finally here, many people are sick of the stress and ready for things to be over.
This year, why not really enjoy the holidays? You can take a lot of stress out of the situation by planning ahead and creating a plan to simplify and proactively manage stressors before they add up, and creating strategies to manage the stressful feelings you may experience as they arise, before they turn into feelings of overwhelm. Here are some resources to help:
- Holiday Stress Relief
- Holiday Card Shortcuts
- How To Simplify Your Holiday Party
- Reduce Holiday Shopping Stress
- Loneliness and The Holidays
- Sign Up For The Free Weekly Newsletter and E Courses
To help with this, I'm giving a free webinar on college stress and stress management for College Week Live later today! College Week Live is an online college fair that brings representatives from top colleges to the comfort of a student's desk as they watch free live webinars from each of these schools. During this online fair, there are webinars from experts from many fields that are useful to students as well, including this free webinar on stress and stress management from yours truly.
To add some fun, we're also giving away one of my books during the webinar! Just register for the webinar and attend, and you could be the recipient of a free copy of 8 Keys to Stress Management. And if you miss the webinar, watch it late, or attend but aren't the winner, you have a second chance to win through the Goodreads Giveaway linked in this blog.
Register for College Week Live and ask the questions you need answered, or watch recordings of these webinars if you can't attend when the presentations are taking place live. There is easily accessed help available, so why not take advantage? It's going on now!
About.com also has some wonderful free resources for students. The following are some of the best offerings from my site, and links to others that can help:
- How To Deal With Test Anxiety and Actually Do Better On Tests
- Low-Stress Study Tips
- Stress Traps To Avoid While Studying
- About.com College Life
- About.com Homework Tips
- About.com College
- Common Causes (And Effects) of Stress In College
- How To Reduce Stress in College
- Fox Business: Help, I hate it here! How Unhappy Freshmen Can Survive their First Semester
- The Root Cause Of College Sleep Deprivation
- College Stress Traps To Avoid
- The Freshman 15: What You Need To Know
- Fox Business: How To Handle A Difficult Roommate
- About.com College Life: College Time Management Tips
- Common Studying Mistakes People Make--And How To Avoid Them
Below are some additional resources that can help with college stress and stress relief. Use them to take charge of your college years and make them the best they can be!
And once it's decided with whom to celebrate, there's the issue of the menu and activities. In order to reduce stress, should you go as simple as you can with the meal--to the point of canned gravy and mashed potatoes from a box, or should you do the Martha Stewart spread and put hours into making it special / fancy? Some people relish the fanciness of the occasion and enjoy going all-out. Others keep things simple, even incorporating a pot-luck angle. Some even go to restaurants, or let the local grocery store cater their meal. Deciding which of all the options maximizes your enjoyment and minimizes stress is much better than going with the option you feel you "should" choose, simply because that's how you've always done it, or you don't want to disappoint anyone.
The answers to these questions may be different for everyone, but I can offer you some food for thought here. The following articles can help you make these decisions for Thanksgiving and the rest of the Holiday Season with minimal stress. The main thing to remember is the meaning behind these holidays: love. And here are a few other things to think about.
Elizabeth's Thanksgiving Stress Relief
Whether you're driving or flying, travel has various stressors attached. The following resources can help you relieve the stress of holiday travel, as well as general holiday season stress, so you can really enjoy Thanksgiving and the rest of the season that follows!
- How To Reduce the Stress of Travel
While travel has always been a somewhat stressful experience, increased airport security and other factors have made travel even more stressful in recent years. Here's how to make the experience less stressful.
- How To Reduce The Stress of Traveling With Kids
Let's face it: traveling with kids is a lot more complicated, and can be stressful. Here's how to make the experience much less stressful, and perhaps even make getting there part of the fun!
- Guide To Holiday Survival
It's no secret that the holiday season, love it as we do, can be quite stressful! Here's how to cut down on much of the stress and really enjoy the season.
What Coping Strategies Are Effective?
"I need help with coping strategies! I've worked very hard to build up security in my life, and now because of tough economic times, I find myself with few assets that are worth anything and a precarious job situation. These stresses are even taking a toll on my relationships! I feel like everything I've worked so hard for, everything I thought I'd always be able to count on, is falling apart. What coping strategies can help with this?" Read on for the answer, and an invitation to leave your own answers.
Can Simple Tips For Managing Stress Actually Work?
"I'm feeling completely overwhelmed, and am having difficulty managing stress! I keep reading about simple things like breathing exercises or meditation, but they can't change my life. How can these tips for managing stress help?" Read more for more on managing stress.
Read More Stress FAQs
"I hate my job. What should I do?" "I try to meditate, but I can't. What should I do?" "What one thing can I do to better manage stress?" Find the answers to these and other questions about stress.
Benefits and Practice of Mindful Eating
Mindful eating is a simple and effective tool for eating less and enjoying your food more. Mindful eating can help you to lose weight and manage stress at the same time. Learn more about the benefits and practice of mindful eating.
Strategies for Mindful Eating
Mindful eating exercises can aid in weight loss as well as stress relief. Try these proven mindful eating exercises for a few days, and see what kind of difference you notice with your relation with--and enjoyment of--food.
Is Dark Chocolate An Effective Stress Reliever?
"I've heard that dark chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate, and can even bring some benefits. Is this true? What does research say on dark chocolate, and how can it be used for stress relief and health?" Read More
Like this post? Want to use it to start a discussion with your friends? Pass it on!
Like this post? Want to use it to start a discussion with your friends? Pass it on!