Ten Things To Do - Stress

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Ten Things To Do

Ten Things To Do to manage




One of the most potent antidotes to stress is laughter. When we laugh we release a powerful cocktail of body chemicals: dopamine, endorphins and growth hormone. These make us feel better and increase our resilience to stress



Aside from the obvious health beneHits that exercise can give us, exercising also releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. These improve our mood and give us more energy to do things.



This is a well known strategy but one that is often too quickly ignored. Taking a minute to focus solely on your breathing and slow down your breathing rate is an effective way of reducing the physical symptoms of anxiety and stress.

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Getting enough sleep is essential for the health of the body and mind. Sleeping is also important for learning and processing our stressful problems. 'Sleeping on it' is actually a highly effective way of dealing with problems.



Break down the things you need to do into small achievable steps or tasks. Write these down as a list so that you can physically tick each one off when completed. Achieving something no matter how small can give you a sense of accomplishment and may also trigger a small release of dopamine as a reward.


Help others

An act of altruism towards a friend or stranger can make us feel good about ourselves. This can combat the negative feelings associated with stress.

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Finding time when you can 'clear your mind' and focus your thoughts on being more relaxed and at peace. Some people find it helpful to focus on a very happy memory. Meditation gives the body an opportunity to reduce the level of stress hormones such as cortisone.


Have 'me' time

We often feel more stressed when our work/life balance is poor. Work being not just paid employment but all the tasks we have to do at home and for others. Finding time to do something just for ourselves can be extremely therapeutic. Try to Hind time each day.


Change routine

New things are stimulating and rewarding for the brain. Making even minor changes to our daily routine can improve our mood and ability to deal with stress.

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Dedicated worry time

Set aside 10-15 minutes to focus 10 directly on your worries. Sort them into three lists:

1. Worries I can do something about
2. Worries that belong to others three
3. Worries no one can sort out

Writing them down like this helps you to organise your thoughts and reduce becoming overwhelmed by them. Annotate actions you can take against each list.

Other Things To Do

Listen to music

Music can affect our moods and many people find listening to music makes doing some of the more boring tasks easier to cope with. Music can also help us ‘chill’ as part of meditation or ‘energise’ us for some exercise.

Eat healthily

Diet is important for the health of the mind as well as the body. For example, fish oils (or vegetarian equivalent) can be useful for gaining the right balance of brain chemicals that we need.

Talk about it

The old proverb ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ is true. Talking to someone, particularly those in similar situations to yourself, can help regulate your symptoms of stress.

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Five Minute Guide to Sleep

A handy printable version of this Ten Things To Do guide suitable for handing to parents, school staff and other professionals and carers. Use 2-sided printing (set printer to flip on short side) and fold in half to produce A5 leaflet.

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Got more than five minutes?

You may be interested to read more:

Anxiety Management

PDA Management

Self Calming Strategies

Back to the Ten Things To Do Index

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