I suffer with anxiety. If I don’t monitor and address it, it can build to unmanageable stress. This leaves me with an inability to cope.
Stress is a natural response. It indicates we need to take action to address our stressors. As such in small doses it is a useful indicator. If we listen to our bodies, generally our head, heart and lungs we can catch it before it becomes unmanageable. However, if unaddressed it can become debilitating. So how do we cope?
It is important to be able to build resilience in order to not only deal with stress but recover from its effects. Especially in times such as those the world confronts at the moment in a global pandemic. Having worked in the justice sector delivering programmes for six years I found I had to build strategies to maintain my resilience.
Techniques I use to manage stress include my self-care strategies such as exercise, routine, and rest. I have also found in the past that I tended to overthink situations causing unnecessary worry about something that may not occur or that I may deal with effectively. I find I work well under pressure. However, I then had a tendency to overanalyse my actions after. Some self-reflection is positive as it provides me with lessons to learn from. However, overanalysing can lead to that unmanageable stress. It could cause me to personalise situations and be overly critical of myself. I have found adopting mindful practices invaluable. Focusing on the present in immense detail using all your senses.
Everyone is different and will have different methods to manage stress. I believe it is now more important than ever for us to address our strategies to build resilience.