Senior Group Friends Exercise Relax Concept

When it comes to the ways that our lifestyle affects our stress levels, our behaviours fall into two main categories

Negative self-care behaviours – Some are obvious, for example drinking excessive alcohol, smoking or taking illegal drugs. Other behaviours such as withdrawing from other people and ignoring or flat out denying that you are showing any signs of stress are also things which can have a harmful impact on your stress levels and prevent you from coping with the challenges you are facing.

This is the list of negative self care behaviours from our quiz:


  • Smoke/use tobacco
  • Drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated drinks (more than 2‐3 cups per day)
  • Drink alcohol (more than recommended levels of 1‐2 per day)
  • Overuse over‐the‐counter medications
  • Overeat or under eat
  • Spend too much money (e.g., do you have a lot of credit card debt and have trouble making payments?)
  • Abuse/overuse of over‐the‐counter medications
  • Watch too much television (more than 3‐4 hours per day) Have angry outbursts
  • Take illegal drugs
  • Withdraw from people
  • Ignore or deny stress symptoms
  • Engage in self‐destructive relationships


Positive self – care behaviours

Exercising and eating well are of course lifestyle behaviours which help you to cope with stress. Equally important is getting eight hours sleep each night, and spending time with family and/ or friends and making enough time to relax and simply do things for fun. Even if you do not feel enthusiastic, simply planning for the future gives you things to look forward to, and maintaining a sense of humour through it all and laughing is enormously beneficial when it comes to coping with the challenges life presents us with.

This is the list of positive self care behaviours from our quiz:


  • Engage in physical activity at least three times a week for 30 minutes each day
  • Get six to eight hours of sleep every night
  • Maintain good eating habits
  • Make time to relax
  • Maintain a sense of humour
  • Play
  • Maintain healthy rituals and routines
  • Be optimistic. Engage in positive thinking
  • Spend time with family
  • Spend time with friends
  • Make plans for the future
  • Figure out ways to manage stress
  • Reward yourself for your accomplishments


Click here for the next lesson: Negative impacts of stress