New Series: Managing Stress: A Black woman’s action plan

photo of laughing woman in red pinstripe suit sitting inside bathtub Photo by TUBARONES PHOTOGRAPHY on

In this final part of the series on Managing Stress, I’m looking at what we can put in place to help us manage.

The first step to managing stress: Think about it

If I said to you that in the first instance, do nothing, you might think I’ve missed the point! From my own personal experience, I’ve found that rushing into decisions or action can make the situation worse. So taking some time, even just a few minutes, can help you to think about what you are facing and the best action you can take. Perhaps you need to speak to someone or step away from the situation longer to give your mind some space. In the first instance, do nothing and assess what actions or thoughts are going to bring the best outcome, especially for yourself.

Say it out loud

Vocalise the stress – say it loud to yourself or to someone. Grab a notepad and write it down. Hearing it and seeing it means the stress can’t stay hidden. Like a computer programme running in the background, sometimes we don’t realise how much pressure we are under. So, being able to see what’s causing us problems is a good place to start. If you struggle to find a way to get clear on what the issue is, take a 10 minute walk. Or listen to some calming music. Do anything that will calm your mind and help you to limit any mental chatter. That’s when you will ‘hear’ your thoughts and clarify the issues.

What do you already have?

Think about your resources. This could include your time, money, skills and knowledge. When the stressful situation is happening, ask yourself, do you carry the answer inside of you? Is this something I have dealt with in the past or have any knowledge of? Or do need to spend money to resolve the situation?

If it doesn't serve you, then it's time to put it down

Your inner strength is your secret weapon

Next, my advice is to strengthen yourself. We know that with any stressful event, there is no guarantee on the outcome. The company’s decision to make redundancies or the man who was the love of your life but is know treating you cold; there is no way you can control the outcome. But you can do the best you can with your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

While the stressful situation is playing out, what will help your mind, body or help you to laugh? During a stressful time of restructuring and not knowing if my job would be cut, I started listening to more uplifting music. My favourite was Beyonce singing Spirit. I also started eating more high vitamin C fruit to protect my immune system from stress. That’s when my love affair with kiwi fruit began 🙂 It was these simple things that helped me to focus on the good I was doing for myself. It built my focus on being good to me.

Above all, I hope this series will help you to think about how you manage stress. I’d love to say it won’t happen anymore but we know that ‘life keeps on lifing‘, so there will always be something that can make our blood pressure go up. I have found that just knowing that I can stop, breathe and ask myself what this situation is and look for the best outcome for myself helps me to manage stress.

Missed the other parts of Black women and managing stress ? Catch up on the series at:

New Series: Dear Black Women: Here’s your sign that it’s time to manage Stress

New Series: Black women & Fighting Stress

How do you manage stress? Leave your comments below:

#Afrowomanonline #Blackwomenshealth #Stress #Stressawareness

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