11 Stress Management Tips: Life Lessons from Rock Bottom

Stress is a killer, whether you're homeless and addicted to meth like I once was, or if you're a single mom juggling a full time career and a family, like I am now. I’m a licensed clinical social worker helping clients overcome alcoholism using these 11 Stress Management Tips, and I’m currently working on my first book called Life Lessons from Rock Bottom.

These tips are useful for everyone, no matter what you’re going through. So, let’s get started. Here are some of the most useful tips I’ve found on managing your stress in everyday life:


  • Eliminate stress triggers. If you know certain things that stress you out, eliminate them from your every day. Is it busy traffic on the way to work? Take a different route. Is it disturbing news on the radio? Listen to an audiobook instead.
  • Just say no. If you find your stress is coming from being overwhelmed with tasks, just say no next time you feel you’re close to your limit.
  • Don’t let people walk all over you. If you ever feel you don’t have a choice in a situation, change the situation. It’s your life and you deserve to live it the way that makes you happy.
  • Breathe. When you’re feeling anxious; breathe deeply from your diaphragm (instead of shallow chest breathing that most do). Count to 10, exhale, and repeat. 
  • Take time for a massage. Massage your palm by making a circular motion with your thumb.
  • Smile. I promise it will make you feel much better. 
  • Focus on the little things. When you feel especially down, focus on the small things that make you happy – including the positive qualities about yourself. 
  • Realize what you can and can’t change. When something is really stressing you out, take a deep breath and just think about it. If you missed your 8 a.m. bus and have to take the next one, there’s nothing you can do about it now. Instead, sit back, relax, and take the next bus.
  • Be realistic. Setting goals are a great way to move forward, but make sure the goals are realistic. Often, people set lofty goals and get stressed out when they don’t reach them. Instead, make your goals challenging, yet within reach. You’ll find yourself much happier. 
  • Take a breather. When you’re really frustrated with a situation, take a few deep breaths and a short walk. Sometimes just being in nature, away from the stressful situation, can help immensely. 
  • Make someone else feel good. Studies have shown that doing something nice for another individual can help you feel better as well. If you help alleviate their stress, it will help alleviate yours. Next time you’re at a restaurant and the server is working extra hard, leave him or her an extra big tip.


Keep the above tips in mind when you’re feeling especially stressed out. They can make the difference between a great day and one that leaves you wanting more.

About the Author:

Angela Weber's a licensed clinical social worker specializing in addiction recovery and writing her first book - Life Lessons from Rock Bottom based on personal and professional observations from the past 20 years of her life.