New Beginnings Module 5: Managing Stress

Key points

  • Stress can set off the “fight-or-flight” response of the nervous system.
  • This response is helpful in a sudden emergency when a person needs to react quickly.
  • When people have the fight or flight response for a long time, it can cause problems like unhealthy coping behaviors, also called diabetes distress.
  • People with diabetes can get support for coping with stress.
woman in pajamas looking stressed


Discussion time: 45 to 60 minutes

  • Stress reactions
  • Stress management

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify at least two signs of stress.
  • Name three strategies for managing stress.
  • Name three examples of healthy actions for managing stress.


Access the full discussion guide for module 5

Key messages

Stress is a normal part of life. People can learn to manage stress so that it doesn't cause them health problems.

Being aware (mindful) of your signs of stress is part of the process of learning to manage stress.

Strategies for managing stress include:

  • Reducing or eliminating the source of stress.
  • Changing how you respond to stress.
  • Taking a time out.

Tips for going virtual

Instead of partnering and role playing during the activity, ask participants to share one at a time with the whole group. Use the virtual whiteboard to brainstorm healthy ways to manage stress. See the Facilitating New Beginnings Online for ideas on how to adapt activities.

Text-only stories that you might have handed out to the participants can be put on a slide in the New Beginnings PowerPoint template. Or you could record yourself, a colleague, or a participant reading the story before the session.