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The 4As of Stress Relief

Tips to Reboot and Rebalance

Two girls sitting on steps with books talking and enjoying time together Stress is part of everyday life and can be short- lived or ongoing. Identifying sources of stress takes awareness and action. Mayo Clinic’s 4 A’s Toolkit can help with rebooting, rebalancing and avoiding long-term physical, emotional and mental health issues:

Avoid stress by planning, taking control of your surroundings, learning to say no, and ditching part of your “to do” list.

Alter by changing a situation for the better. Some ways include asking others to change their behaviors, openly communicating your feelings, managing your time better and stating your limits in advance: “I have a break for a few minutes. How can I help you?”

Accept things the way they are when there is no choice to change them. In these cases, talk with someone to validate feelings, forgive to move outside of disappointment or anger, practice positive self-talk, learn from those teachable moments and move on.

Adapt by changing standards or expectations, reframing an issue, adopting a mantra: ‘I Got This!’ creating an assets column and looking at the bigger picture.

The American Heart Association suggests thinking of stress as a continuum. Through awareness of mood changes and emotional cues, learn to regulate stress levels and know when it’s time for a stress break. What is your “Low Zone” and how do you “live” there?