Practical strategies to try when feeling stressed

At LETSS, we understand that when we are feeling sad, angry, stressed or overwhelmed it can be extremely difficult to think of ways to relax or things that have helped us cope before in the past. Often, we may have the urge to fight against these feelings and thoughts, which can often leave us feeling worse, as all our focus is drawn to these negative emotions. In moments like these, it can be helpful to distract ourselves by choosing an activity to do. This doesn't mean discounting how you are feeling but rather acknowledging those experiences and then deciding to put your focus elsewhere. When you have chosen an activity to do you may still feel those same thoughts and feelings begin to creep in. This is normal. However, if you notice this, acknowledge how you are feeling and then gradually shift your focus back to the activity.

It can also be really hard to identify even one thing that might be helpful. Therefore, it might be helpful to put together a list of practical suggestions so next time you are feeling unsure you can have something to help prompt you. Often, we find that it can be helpful to match the activity to how you are feeling. For instance, if you are feeling sad it can be helpful to do something soothing like tuck yourself up in bed and make a hot cup of tea. However, if you are feeling angry or frustrated it may be helpful to go for a run or to listen to some fast-paced music. Check out some of other suggestions below


  • Have a bath
  • Light some candles
  • Listen to some calming music
  • Try some aromatherapy oils
  • Rub some nice smelling lotion onto your body
  • Soak your feet and give yourself a pedicure
  • Massage your hands and feet
  • Mediate or try some yoga
  • Cuddle your pet
  • Hug a loved one
  • Call up a friend
  • Wrap yourself up tightly in a blanket
  • Make a list of things that you are grateful for or make you happy
  • Visit some family or friends
  • Watch a favourite tv show or movie
  • Play a game on the computer
  • Do some crosswords or a puzzle


  • Start up a journal
  • Write some poetry or a short story
  • Paint or draw something
  • Do some sewing or knitting
  • Research a new topic on the net you are interested in
  • Learn a new language
  • Take some photos
  • Make a scrap book
  • Try baking or cooking something new

Getting Out and About

  • Visit the library and borrow some books on a topic you are interested in
  • Check to see which movies are screening at the local cinema
  • Go window shopping
  • Catch up with a friend
  • Treat yourself out to lunch
  • Go for a walk or a jog around the block
  • Take a walk on the beach
  • Visit the art gallery or museum
  • Find out which classes the local council offers and attend whichever class sounds interesting
  • Visit a park or a nursery or nature reserve
  • Visit the zoo
  • Take a train or a bus to a new place you have never been before
  • Go outside and look at the stars

Expressing your anger or frustration in a healthy way

  • Squeeze some ice or throw it against a wall outside
  • Eat some sour lollies or take a bite into a hot pepper or a piece of ginger
  • Go for a run or a walk
  • Take a cold bath or shower
  • Dance to some loud music
  • Punch a cushion
  • Rip up some old newspapers
  • Sing loudly
  • Write or draw how you are feeling
  • Kick a ball around the oval or against a wall
  • Bang some pots and pans together
  • Clean your room or your car
  • Bite into a lemon
  • Put on some heavy shoes and stomp your feet on the ground hard

If you would like some help implementing these strategies or would like some additional mental health support please contact LETSS via 1800 013 755 or start a webchat via

(Image by Rifqi Ali Ridho from Unsplash) 

Mental Health Care Plan

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We would like to Acknowledge that the land we provide a service on today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.        


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