4 Strategies for Coping with Stress
November 11 2020
This year has been incredibly stressful for all of us and many will see an increase in their stress levels as we move into the winter season. Whether it is work-related, life-related, holiday-related, or just general event-related stress, with the crazy year that 2020 has brought us, any small increase can leave us feeling overwhelmed! While stress in small doses can build resilience, prolonged, high levels of stress can cause a myriad of issues. For this reason, it is important that we understand how to identify and manage our stress in order to stay physically and emotionally healthy.
Most people can identify stress based on how their body reacts to it: headaches, stomach aches, muscle aches, etc. Sometimes stress can be identified by intrusive thoughts. Too often though, we do not realize that stress has been slowly building in us until it’s too late and we reach our breaking point. The key is to identify our personal triggers and listen mindfully to how our body and mind respond to those triggers.
Stress management does not end with simply identifying our triggers. We need to have a solid stress management plan in place so we can respond accordingly when we are triggered. Mayo Clinic provides an explanation of four strategies for coping with stress: avoid, alter, accept, and adapt (4A’s). I have also included a 4 A’s worksheet from the Workplace Strategies for Mental Health’s “Plan for Resilience” workbook. This worksheet can be used to help you develop your own stress management plan. You can view the complete workbook here.
Kristeena Dewberry, MA, LPC-S
Basecampus Coach - NEISD