Chaplains group provides suggestions to lessen stress

As part of the observance of Stress Awareness Month in April, a national chaplains’ group has offered suggestions to lessen stress for family and friends.The Community Chaplains of America asks that individuals provide care, and essentially reduce stress, by following some of the following suggestions:

– Provide a listening ear. Often, those who are going through stressful times simply need someone to talk to. Make an extra phone call or meet a friend for coffee and offer the opportunity for them to talk.

– Send an encouraging note. Words are powerful. In the age of emails and text messages, handwritten notes show that you took time and effort to show you care.

– Say “thank you.” Offer your gratitude for people. Thank a coworker for his or her hard work or a waiter for serving you dinner. Everyone wants to feel appreciated.

– Laugh with someone. A good hearty laugh can relax you both and mentally lighten your load. Tell a joke or rent a funny movie with a friend.

– Perform a random act of kindness. Surprise someone with the unexpected. It can be as simple as paying for a friend’s coffee or offering to watch the kids so a mom or dad can have that extra time to relax.

– Help someone organize. When the places and things around us are in order, we feel a little more put together. Take time to help a friend clean out a closet or scrub the bathtub.

– Take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins and makes us feel better all around. Walk around the mall with a coworker on your lunch break or meet a friend at a park after work and enjoy the fresh air.

– Share a smile. This contagious act can easily brighten someone’s day. Smile to a passing stranger; it may make a big difference in his or her day.

– Get away. Get away from the everyday circumstances that may be causing stress. Plan a weekend getaway or a day trip with a friend.