Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: {Stress Management Part 1- healthy coping}

Welcome to the first Wellness Wednesday post of 2012! It might be good to take a moment to refresh your memory about the Wheel of Wellness, and my wellness page includes every past "Wellness Wednesday" post! Remember that wellness isn't the absence of the negative, but the presence of the positive in our lives.

Remember that I'm using the Wheel of Wellness to help visualize health in life:

Today we will continue discussing Life Task 2 (Self-Direction), and begin discussing the subtask of "Stress Management".

Myers & Sweeney define "Stress Management" the following way:

General perceptions of one’s own self-regulation, seeing change as an opportunity for growth rather than as a threat to one’s security, ongoing self-monitoring and assessment of one’s coping resources, structuring-ability to organize and manage resources (e.g., time, energy, seeing limits, scheduling); need for structure, satisfaction with one’s stress management ability.

Whew! That's quite a mouthful, right? Obviously there's quite a bit involved in stress management, so I'm planning to break this into a few different posts.

Today I'm going to briefly discuss "one's coping resources". A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Healthy Coping Skills that may be helpful for you in determining your own ways of coping. The interesting thing about coping is that it is an activity that can be done before, during, and after the stressful event. Of course this coping will look a little different each time, but it is important to implement this at various stages of stress. Family and Friends play a huge part in healthy coping, as does engagement in faith/religion (social integration is a key in stress management!).

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about how you cope:

  • What things do I naturally go towards to help myself cope with stress (i.e. food, alcohol, TV, music)?
  • Who can I count on in life to help provide coping support when I am stressed and overwhelmed?
  • What aspects of faith and spirituality can help me cope with stressors in my life?
  • What things can I do to cope that are healthy and safe for me?
  • How can I increase my sense of control in this situation to decrease my stress?
  • What things would be helpful to include in my "coping toolbox" so that I'm prepared when stress comes my way?
If you can establish a "coping plan" beforehand, then you'll have something prepared when stress and negative life events happen. Having a plan already created will instantly decrease some of your stress, and will provide you with people, places, and things that will be healthy for you!

Next Wednesday be on the lookout for Part 2 of the "Stress Management" subtask!

Now it's your turn:
What sorts of people, places, and things might be helpful for you to put in your "coping toolbox" so you're prepared for the stressful moments in life? Are there negative ways you cope that you would like to decrease?

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