Maria is a single mother who often feels stressed. She is a computer programmer with a thirteen years old son. At work, she sits in front of a computer for most of the day. While sitting at work, her lower back often hurts and her eyes get tired from looking at the computer for long periods of time.

New words

  • Fell stressed: feeling pressured
  • Lower back: lumbar region
  • Get tired from doing things: tired

During her lunch break, she enjoys taking a walk with a couple of friends. She enjoys the fresh air and talking with her friends. For lunch, she usually eats something light like a salad and fruit. At work, she water drinks instead of coffee or soda.

New words

  • Enjoy something/doing something: like something/do something
  • Worries about something: worry about something

She worries about her son since she can not be there when he arrives home from school. She also worries about not having enough money to pay the bills.

Maria suffers from migraine headaches When this happens she feels severe pain on both sides of her head, loses her appetite, feels nauseous, and sometimes even vomits. She can feel this way of three or four days.

New words

  • Migraine headaches: headache
  • Lose appetite: lack of appetite
  • Feel nauseous: nausea
  • Vomit: vomit

Maria has high blood pressure. High blood pressure is when the heart works harder to pump blood through the arteries. Maria watches her weight and takes medicine for this disease. She realizes she must be about her high blood pressure otherwise she could have a heart attack, stroke, or suffer from kidney disorders.

New words

  • High blood pressure: raised blood pressure
  • To take medicine/medication: take medicine
  • To be concerned about: to be concerned about
  • Heart attack: myocardial infarction
  • Stroke: stroke
  • Kidney disorders: kidney disease

Maria realizes that she needs to manage her stress. Therefore she walks with her friends during the week. On weekends she often goes bike riding with her son. She knows she needs to eat a sensible diet to maintain the energy needed to cope with her stress.

She sets her priorities to avoid unnecessary time pressures. In the evenings she does stretching exercises. Then she relaxes in a warm bath before going to bed. Maria tries to get eight hours of sleep a night.

  • Manage a disease/disorder: control/treat a disease, disease state
  • To cope with something
  • To set priority: choose priority to do

Questions and Answers

1.1. Answer the following questions in complete sentences.

  1. What does Maria drink at work?
  2. Name two reasons why Maria feels stressed.
  3. How does Maria feel when she has a migraine headache?
  4. What is high blood pressure?
  5. List three health problems that high blood pressure can cause.
  6. List three things that Maria does to manage her stress
  7. What are a couple of things you do to manage your stress?

Listening practice: Way to cope with stress

Nguyen Thai Duy

Medical English Teacher – Nguyen Tat Thanh University

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