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How Can I Help Myself Cope With Stress?

How can I help myself cope with stress?

Making changes

Finding new ways to cope with stress can be daunting. When we are already in a place of stress, it can be difficult to think of doing new things and we might believe nothing will help. This list of different ideas to look after you physical, mental and emotional wellbeing suggests small things you can add into your life. It gives you the chance to find things that work for you and your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to mean massive changes, just small changes in habits.


CHALLENGE: Can you do something every day to help with stress by looking after your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing?


Physical Wellbeing

  • Firstly, get up and stretch if you’ve been at your desk for a long time. Take note of your posture, sit up a little straighter, role your shoulders back and smile.
  • Digital detox- set time aside each day when you’re not online and do something else like talking to a friend or reading.
  • Do a breathing technique – For example, inhale for 4 seconds through your nose, hold for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds through your mouth
  • Check in with yourself- have I ate and drank something? Have I moved around today?
  • Give yourself a bedtime routine to help you sleep. This can include things like: no screen for an hour before bed, read or do something relaxing, have a bath or listen to relaxing music/meditations.
  • Try a new physical activity – from long-boarding to kayaking to marshal arts, just something different!
  • If you want to get more active but you are not sure how to focus on something you already do. For example, if you like dancing around the house, walk to places or do stretches, just extend and develop these.
  • Move every day, make yourself get up, open those curtains and let the light in.


Mental Wellbeing

  • Write out lists of things you want to get done. This can help you see what you have to do and will give you an end point. It also helps you to prioritise the most important things.
  • Be realistic and problem solve. For example, when setting goals for the day, be kind to yourself and recognise if you have less energy or motivation then you might be able to get less done. This is okay. Just focus on what needs to be done and identify what could be left for another day.
  • Learn something just for you- forget about school, what do you want to know more about or what’s your go to thing to google?
  • Read a new book or finish one that’s been on your shelf for ages. Always make time for fun reading, outside of your studies; this could be on anything you’re interested in.
  • Out how you’re feeling to someone. First things first,  if you’re struggling or feeling insecure about something, try telling someone about it! Be open about what’s going on, and if you’re finding the work too hard.
  • Grounding exercises can help to centre you. For example, try finding, 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste
  • Write down your goals and aspirations- these can help focus you and give you something to hold onto. They don’t have to be big things, they can be around people in your life you want to know better, or a skills or interests you want to develop.
  • Take time out and do something you enjoy, make sure you take breaks throughout the day from work and do something for you.

 Emotional Wellbeing

  • Journal – write out how you are feeling, or what’s been on your mind.
  • Art expression – in contract, if words are hard, use colours and patterns and pictures to create a sense of what is happening for you.
  • Send a message to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Ask for help if you need it and remind yourself you would do the same for someone else.
  • Reflect for 5 minutes at the end of the day on how your day was and what you were grateful for.
  • Volunteer – Get involved in a cause you are passionate about just because you want to share what inspires you. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment.
  • Compliment others- Tell someone something you like about them, how does it make you feel?
  • Be kind to yourself and if you have a negative thought about yourself, try counteracting it with mantras like ‘I am enough, I am loved and valued.’
  • Superman pose- we really can feel more confident if we put our body in confident positions. So, put those hands on your hips like superman, puff your chest out and feel confident.

These are just a few ideas for ways you can start to combat your stress and live mentally healthy. It often starts with being honest with yourself about what your needs are and what things in your life are not helping your mental health.

This blog is inspired by Stress Management society’s stress awareness week campaign, the 30-day challenge. This encourages you to do one thing to help your stress each day, by looking after your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.


What support for stress does Dorset Mind Your Head offer?

  • Join one of our support groups and have a safe space to talk through the stresses in your life. It can also be a place to hear others experiences. You can find out more about our support groups here.

Volunteer with DMYH to help your emotional wellbeing

  • You can volunteer with Dorset Mind Your Head and work with a group of passionate volunteers to make a difference to mental health support in Dorset. To find out more about how to volunteer see our Get involved page.

 If you want to talk to someone

The Samaritans 24/7 Phoneline –
The Samaritans offer emotional support and a listening ear, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s a FREEPHONE number.
– Call them on 116 123 (24hr),
– Or email:

Connection 24/7 Phoneline for Dorset –
A helpline for people of all ages in Dorset who are experiencing mental health issues and need support.
– Call 111 and select ‘mental health,’
– Or dial 0300 1235440 to access support.

Shout (text service) –
Shout provides a 24/7 text service, FREE on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
– Text SHOUT to 85258.


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