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Emergency Information → Resources → Mental Health: Building Resiliency

Stress reduction techniques for adults and children

From the Office of Student and Community Services, Department of Student Services
MONTGOMERY COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Rockville, Maryland

Coping with the stress that results from difficult life events requires understanding, sensitivity, acceptance, and patience. When these events endure over an extended period of time and the stress becomes cumulative it is even more important to take steps to reduce the effects of this cumulative stress. When choosing stress reduction techniques it is important that individual choose what is right for him or her. Each person handles stress differently. It is important not to judge individuals about the methods they choose or force them to choose particular strategies. As long as the stress reduction strategies chosen offer the individual comfort and relief without any harmful effects they are appropriate choices for managing the stressful situation.

Suggestions for reducing stress during a crisis

  • Write down specific worries and thoughts about how they could be addressed by yourself or other individuals.
  • Keep a journal of thoughts and feelings, including what happened right before they occurred.
  • Make a list of things you have done to get through other tough situations. Use these strategies again.
  • Develop a personal safety plan with names and phone numbers of support people.
  • Practice what to say and do in a difficult or stressful situation.
  • Give yourself a treat - a warm bath, a massage, a candy bar, or time spent doing an activity you enjoy.
  • Spend time with family, friends, or a favorite pet.
  • Pursue activities that allow you an opportunity to take a break from the stressful situation. For example, watch a funny movie or play a game.
  • Give yourself or a child permission to take a break from regular activities
  • Get enough rest and food to stay healthy and strong.

Sources and resources

Information contained in this document was developed with input from the following source: "Caring for Kids after Trauma and Death: A Guide for Parents and Professionals" written by Robin F. Goodman, Ph.D.

The Montgomery County Crisis Center is a free resource available 24 hours/7 days each week. Call 240-777-4000.

  • Initiate conversations about emotions. Offer various healthy suggestions for expressing emotions.
  • Model and communicate the attitude that crises are challenges to be faced, not insurmountable obstacles

Helping the children in our lives develop resiliency skills will enable them to better manage any current crisis or stress they are experiencing. Additionally, developing these skills will better prepare them to handle any crisis or stress they may face in the future

Sources and Resources

Information contained in this document was developed with input from the following sources: