Handling Stress

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Do you have days when you feel that everything is out of control?

Or some days when you feel burned out, crabby, pressured, wired and panicky? Maybe you feel cranky, restless, wound-up and moody. There are so many things going on, from school and family responsibilities to friends and planning your future.

Being a girl these days isnít like it was ever before. There are a lot of pressures to deal with. The good news is that there are also more ways to help you conquer your anxiety and stress.

ITíS NORMAL TO BE UNDER STRESS AND THERE ARE WAYS TO MANAGE IT.

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION:

Write down what stresses you the most.

Here are some suggestions about how to manage stress:

  • TALK TO YOUR PARENTS OR A TRUSTED ADULT - If you ever feel like the stress is becoming too much, be sure to talk to an adult. Outline your problems, give clear examples of what it is in your life that is stressing you out and get advice about how to deal with these issues.
  • REACH OUT TO YOUR FRIENDS - Being able to really vent with your friends can help you ease some of the stress youíre feeling. Ask your friends if they have also felt this way and see how you can get through it together. If your friends are a part of the problem (ex: causing you stress), then consider whether the friendships should continue. It may be hard, but you want to surround yourself with positive people who help make you a better you.
  • RELEASE TENSION THROUGH MOVEMENT - If letting out all your feelings isnít your style Ė and thatís perfectly OK Ė find something that allows you to free your mind. Physical activity, that lets you to focus your attention on whatís happening in the moment and not whatís bugging you, can actually help you out. Try walking, running, swimming, biking or dancing powwow.

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LEARN TO RELAX

You can help yourself relax by learning simple breathing exercises and using them when youíre in stressful situations.

Make sure you stay relaxed by building time into your schedule for calming activities that you like, such as reading a book, making time for a hobby, spending time with your pet, taking a relaxing bath, volunteering or doing other things you enjoy making arts and crafts.

Listen to your favourite songs or write a song that describes your feelings. You may fi nd that you can better think through what is causing your stress and sort out what you need to do about it.

Watch what youíre thinking.

Your outlook, attitude and thoughts affect the way you see things. Is your cup half full or half empty?

A healthy dose of positive thinking can help you make the best of stressful circumstances. Even if youíre out of practice, or tend to look at the bad side of things, everyone can learn to think more positively.

Feeling down or depressed?
Feeling sad? More than just sad?
Have you ever heard about depression?

Check out Mind your Mind website, an award-winning, non-profi t mental health program and online space for youth and
young adults to fi nd support when going through tough times.

Sometimes, making healthy decisions is hard, especially when we are in stressful situations and we feel angry or pressured. Some people havenít learned how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way. They may start cutting, burning or purposely hurting themselves as a way to deal with their emotions. Unhealthy actions to cope with stress are often used to shut out and forget about the problems or to feel in control.

If you are thinking about suicide, or if you are worried about someone else who might be suicidal, you need to tell someone. It can be really hard to talk about, but talking about it to someone you trust can be the starting point to getting help.

Donít forget, we all need attention, especially if we are struggling.

If you need someone to talk to, you can call the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or online at Kids Help Phone. They offer free counselling and are available 24 hours a day.

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Talking through a problem can be a good way to sort out your own thoughts.

You can also call:

  • Klinic Crisis Line 1-888-322-3019 or 204-786-8686 (24 hours)
    • provides counselling, support and information for people in crisis or distress
  • Manitoba Suicide Line 1-877-435-7170 (24 hours)
    • offers counselling/info for people thinking about suicide, or affected by anotherís thoughts or attempts of suicide

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT you make healthy choices for you.

Remember that using alcohol, drugs or smoking is not the best way to cope with stress and all can do damage to your body!

Letís Think About This:

  • Do you, or someone you know, use drugs, alcohol or smoke to reduce the stress in their lives, or before they go through stressful situations?
  • Is drinking alcohol, using drugs or smoking making it hard to do well at school, on sports teams or in extracurricular
    activities?
  • Are you or someone you know using drugs, alcohol or smoking to stop feeling hurt, or to hurt other people?
  • Does your mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent or other close relative have problems with drugs, alcohol or smoking?

If youíve answered YES to any of these questions, it may be worth it to talk to a safe and trusted adult such as a parent or guardian, guidance counsellor, youth health centre worker, health professional or an Elder.

If you think a friend, family member or someone else important to you has overdosed on alcohol or another drug, call 911 right away. You might just save someoneís life.

You can also check out the following links for more information on quitting smoking, drinking and other addictions:

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