Manage your stress – coping strategies
Develop Your Coping Strategies
Now you can recognise getting stressed, you need coping strategies to reduce the stress. Here are some useful questions to help think about what your current coping strategies are:
- What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are feeling stressed?
- What do you do or have you done in the past that gives you pleasure in your life?
- What kinds of things give your life meaning or are important to you?
- Is there anyone who helps you to keep going? What kind of support do they give you?
Sometimes my wife lets me know that I am stressed and sometimes I notice the early signs of stress on my own. Once I recognise I am stressed, I do have a few strategies I can use:
- I work flexible hours so can reduce my hours that week, but I try to keep working as I enjoy my job and it gives me a sense of achievement
- I make sure my routine is a bit more regular. I aim to sleep at least 7 hours, eat 3 meals per day (even if I don’t feel hungry) and exercise 3 times a week (even if it is just a 20 minute walk round the park at lunchtime)
- When I start to brood on things and blame myself for Neil’s illness, I talk to my wife and tell her I am doing this. We discuss the information about the causes of psychosis and the things we are trying to do to help him
- I try to go out with friends at least 1 night per week to do something fun. I love the cinema as it helps me totally switch off