The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology

Tips for Coping with Stress 

Common reactions to a stressful event can include:

  • Disbelief and shock
  • Tension and irritability
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Feeling numb
  • Losing interest in usual activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nightmares and reoccurring thoughts about the event
  • Anger
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sadness and depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Crying
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
  • Difficulty concentrating

Feeling emotional and nervous or having trouble sleeping and eating can all be normal reactions to stress. Getting the right care and support can put problems in perspective and help stressful feelings and symptoms subside in a few days or weeks.

Here are some tips for getting the right care and support in difficult times.

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help with the stress temporarily; in the long run they create additional problems that compound the stress you are already feeling.
  • Find support. Ask for help from a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor. Talk with them about the stress you feel and problems you face.
  • Take care of yourself. 
    • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
    • Exercise on a regular basis
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out
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