When beginning to deal with things that cause you distress it’s important not to tackle too much at once. Break them down into manageable steps, making small changes along the way.
Looking at your list of easy things to change, you need to consider each of them carefully. It may help you to talk with a friend, partner or someone close to help you view each problem more clearly. You can use a piece of paper to jot down any important points.
Having answered or thought about these questions, you now need to explore possible solutions. It might be helpful to discuss solutions with someone else, don’t immediately dismiss any suggestion you or anyone else has.
Consider each solution in terms of:
When you decide to make change(s), it is useful to discuss your intentions with those around you who may be affected. By doing this, you prepare them for change and it will help you to gain their support and co-operation.
When we are stressed it can feel like we are on a slippery road and are out of control. At these times we sometimes look out for things to keep us going such as alcohol, cigarettes, drugs (illegal or prescribed) or binge on food, sweets or chocolate. However, these things only make us feel better in the short-term particularly such things as smoking, drinking or using drugs, you may have to increase your intake to gain the same effect.
In addition, turning to these things can actually be damaging to your health in other ways. It is best to find ways to replace these with other more healthy and helpful ways of coping.
You must remember that your stress won’t go away overnight. It has probably taken weeks, months or even years to get to an unacceptable level
Helpful ways to cope
Be aware of your own stress warning signs
Act early to reduce your stress levels
Get enough rest and sleep
Learn to recognise when you are tired and take time to rest and refresh yourself
If you are ill
Don’t carry on as if you are not. Give your body a chance to recover
It releases tension, uses up adrenaline and makes you feel more relaxed
Teach yourself to relax
If done daily it will help you to prevent a build-up of tension
Take time out to enjoy yourself
Have fun, do something for yourself because you enjoy it. Have a laugh
If you cannot change something, learn to accept it
Talk to someone you can trust
Gain support and understanding
Don’t be afraid to say no!
Trust others to do the job well
Decide what is important and do jobs one at a time
Agree with someone
Co-operate with others rather than compete
Life doesn’t need to be a constant battle
Remember, the answer lies with you