We all experience stress regularly. (And if you don’t, can you tell us your secret?) To make it through our stressful days, we all have some type of coping mechanism. For some, that’s exercise, for others, meditation. Sometimes, the best approach is to let it out and vent to a friend, or scribble in your journal. But sometimes stress gets the better of us, and instead of healthy coping skills, we resort to bad habits that make stressful situations even worse. Here are five of them.

Don’t push stress into future scenarios 

Stress in the present moment is bad enough. But often, we make it worse for ourselves by pushing stress into future situations. This only ups our anxiety and keeps us from reducing stress in the here and now.

Don’t forget to rest

Stress isn’t just mentally and emotionally exhausting. It can also take a toll on you physically. So, even though you might not want to rest, make an effort to relax. It can help to reduce cortisol levels and promote more relaxation.

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself

Now is not the time to be a drill sergeant. Now’s the time to give yourself lots of compassion, kindness, forgiveness and love.

Don’t have too many “priorities”

For some reason, when we’re stressed, we don’t take a step back. Instead, we keep pushing forward, adding more and more tasks to our to-do lists. It’s time to stop that habit! Identify the most important priorities and let everything else fall to the wayside. Laundry, dishes, car wash, appointments? See if you can postpone them, even a day or two.

Stop asking “Why?”

Life happens, and sometimes it brings disappointment, suffering and pain in its wake. But asking “Why is this happening to me?” rarely helps. So, instead of trying to find meaning or justification, or victimhood, try to accept the present moment for what it is and now that this, too, shall pass.

Cell phones are essential. But that blue light shining on your skin? Not so much. That’s because research is finding that screens – like your cell phone – emit blue light and this can lead to skin aging – and fast! So, even though we’re all focused on avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen, it’s time to think about cell phone use and how it can damage skin, too.

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