Category: <span>Stress</span>

Managing Stress For The Holidays.

Running around, spending money, traveling, cooking meals you don’t normally make, seeing family members…all of these things can make this time of year very stressful. But it’s not supposed to be. The end of the year is a time of reflection, planning future goals, and spending time with loved ones. Remind yourself that this is a positive time by following some of the following tips.

  • Remember to take time for you by setting aside some quiet time. It can be as little as 2-3 minutes. Drive home alone the long way, or letting the hot water run a little longer when taking a shower.
  • Plan ahead. Things don’t always go as planned but it’s still a good idea to plan out your day and tasks.
  • Focus on the things you have control over. Let go of the thing you can’t.
  • Keep a “To Do” list on your phone. Have a list for things you have to do as well as one for things you have to buy.
  • Ask for help. If you have trouble asking for help, that is something to work on. You’re only one person and should delegate tasks to others. Kids like to be given “jobs” so put them to work.
  • If you’re stressed about money or just don’t have it, remember the saying “it’s the thought that counts”. Believe it or not thoughtful gifts are priceless since it shows you put effort into it. If you’re in a relationship, get a Card from the dollar store or just make one with a personalized message of how much they mean to you. You can even get flirty with top 10 reasons I love you. Or creating an album/scrap book of pictures. Doing thoughtful things will also help you feel the love and lower stress.
  • Think of 5 things that you truly feel grateful for.
  • Volunteer or help out a family in need.
  • Keep things simple. Don’t put more stress on yourself than you have to. There’s no need to cook a buffet of food all by yourself, or feel that you have to buy a gift for all your guests (even ones you don’t normally see).
  • Remember that you are supposed to be enjoying time off, being with people you love. Stop and reflect on everything you’ve been through this year, and survived. Remind yourself of the things that are important in life. When you do, it’s easier to let go of the small things that in the bigger picture, don’t really matter.

About the author

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, Adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Bethlehem, PA area.



Simple Ways To Exercise Without Going To The Gym.

We all hear about how good exercise is. It not only takes care of you physically but socially and emotionally. But how can we find the time to exercise when we’re so busy? The good news is you do not have to join a gym to get a good work out. You just have to get your body moving and raise your heart rate.
Here are some fun and simple ways to fit in exercise into your daily routine in order to improve your mood. Of course make sure you’re healthy enough to do some of these.

  1. While watching TV, hold a plank for 30 seconds.
  2. Since you’re already on the floor, do 10 push-ups.
  3. Try to always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Go on YouTube and look for a workout routine that’s less than 10 minutes, then follow along.
  5. Stretch your body as soon as you wake up and before going to bed.
  6. Follow a Yoga Video.
  7. Go for a 20 minute walk in your neighborhood.
  8. If it’s too cold or your neighborhood is not good for walking, walk around the mall. (Don’t shop, just walk around the mall as if you were running late)
  9. Park far away on purpose.
  10. Play. Tennis, racket ball, basketball, baseball, swimming, wii fit, xbox Kinect games, etc.
  11. Download a pedometer app on your phone to keep track of how many steps you take a day. Try to go for 3500 steps a day. Fitbit does this already.
  12. Dance!
  13. Play in the snow. Have a snow ball fight.
  14. Lift Dumbbells. No Dumbbells? Lift cans of beans or half gallon of milk.
  15. Rough house with kids and/or partner.

Try to do at least 2 of these suggestions every day. Have fun with it and you’re more likely to do them.

About the Author.
Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, adults and Spanish speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA.


25 Coping Skills

Here’s a list of coping skills to try when you’re feeling really stressed out, worried or depressed. Try to do at least 2 things on this list every single day.

  1. Talk to one person about your feelings. Supportive friend, family or therapist.
  2. Have a “lazy” day or hour where you do NOTHING.
  3. Go for a walk in nature or a quiet environment.
  4. Help someone out by volunteering somewhere or help someone who you know needs help.
  5. Do a random act of kindness, on purpose.
  6.  Write out what you’re thinking as if you’re talking to someone. Then destroy it.
  7. If you don’t like writing, record yourself instead. Like a video diary.
  8. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for and write at least 3 sentences of why you’re grateful for that thing. Think bigger than your life, like being grateful for having the sight to read these words, or that your family does not do arranged marriages.
  9. Color/paint/draw/doodle.
  10. Listen to music.
  11. Create play lists for different moods.
  12. Take a bubble bath.
  13. Take a hot shower. Before turning off the water, turn the water as cold as you can stand.
  14. Clean/organize your environment; room, house, desk, etc.
  15. Play/cuddle with a pet.
  16. Search “guided mediation” on YouTube and listen to one.
  17. Watch a funny movie or video.
  18. Create a vision board with pictures of things that you would like to do and have.
  19. Play games. Video games, board games, or games on your phone.
  20. Take a nap or just make sure you get enough rest.
  21. Read something that makes you feel good.
  22. Pamper yourself, like doing your hair or painting your nails.
  23. Watch your favorite movie or TV show.
  24. Write down or think about 5 good things you have going for yourself. For example, if you hate your job, at least you have a job. If you don’t have one, think about your strengths that will get you one, such as being responsible or being a hard worker.
  25. Create and stick to a daily schedule. Scheduling out your day will give you a routine and a sense of accomplishment.


About the author.

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves Adolescents, adults, and Spanish speaking families in  Lehigh Valley, PA.



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