What’s in Our Stress-Busting Toolbox?

What’s in Our Stress-Busting Toolbox?

Stress Coping Skills, Part 2!

self care creativity
Self-care includes both “me time” and connecting with loved ones. Add in some creative play too!                                                                                                       Paper artwork by Trish Sai-Chew

Self-Care covers a whole range of ways that we can be kind to ourselves in times of stress: taking breaks, socialising, having fun, getting adequate sleep and good nutrition are all great investments in ourselves. So important for everyone, and especially for those in the caring professions and caregivers themselves.

Exercises such as yoga, pilates, lifting weights, walking, cycling, swimming – these all work toward keeping our minds and bodies healthy and resilient. Exercise also helps us to sleep better, as our bodies are tired out and able to relax more easily at bedtime. Of course, we need to be mindful of what our bodies tell us when doing any exercise – so if you’re starting up a new or renewed routine, go slowly, take breaks and seek appropriate advice.

Creativity: giving ourselves permission to let go and express ourselves creatively can go a long way to reducing stress. Sometimes it can be hard at first to put our worries and concerns into words, so let your subconscious reveal itself through the arts: drawing, doodling, painting, dancing, singing and making music. And perhaps in letting our creativity work its magic, we may come up with a creative solution to that stressful situation!

Communication is another invaluable tool to counteract the effects of stress. Talk to your friends and family and let them know what’s going on in your life. Investing effort into positive relationships can bring many benefits: a sense of connection and source of support when things get tough. Forming a therapeutic relationship with a trusted professional can also bring relief when chronic stress becomes overwhelming, or we start to have unhealthy thoughts or coping behaviours.

2 thoughts on “What’s in Our Stress-Busting Toolbox?

  1. The strategy that really resonates for me is connecting with friends and family. When I get stressed I tend to put my head down and isolate myself. But if I deliberately make an effort to reach out, I feel more connected to others and it helps put the things that are stressing me into better perspective. Thanks for the good ideas.

    1. Our natural tendency may be to cocoon ourselves, which can be a great opportunity to focus on ourselves and buffer against stressful situations. I find it’s a learned skill for me to recognize when the cocooning has gone on long enough, and now is the time to reach out to others, particularly friends and loved ones. Connection can be so heartwarming and life-affirming!

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