In Blog 3, we explored the two main elements that can impact the way we move and push our way through a stressful issue, period or challenge. These are:
Our Resources (supports and people we have)
Our Perception (beliefs we hold about our ability to get through the stress)
Just as we have a first aid kit for medical or physical issues that arise with our bodies, we need a similar kit available for our mental health that will support us when we are experiencing stress. Your first aid kit for stress is created specifically for your unique needs and what “works” for your relief and prevention.
To build up Resources and boost our Perception, we need to add to our stress kit!
There are four components with unlimited ideas to add to our kit that will shift the mindset and improve the productivity we may need!
What activity or behaviour helps calm your mind and for you?
- Go for a walk in the forest
- Relaxing activities such as a hot bath or yoga
- Watch a funny show or listen to music
- Reach out to a friend or family member for support and brainstorm solutions
What can you do to help your mindset and stop the negative thinking chatter in your head?
- Pretend your thoughts are a person talking to you? Do you believe what they are saying?
- Write or read an affirmation each morning
- Write in a gratitude journal
- Practice meditation or guided imagery
What can you do to improve the way you feel?
- Get a hug from a friend
- Colour Therapy
- Laugh out loud
- Write a journal of your emotions, and focus on the feeling you desire can be achieved (calmness, contentment, happiness, joy)
What can you do to improve natural body reactions that occur during stress?
- Deep Breathing exercises
- Muscle Relaxation, massage or a damp cloth on the neck or head
- Drink lots of water to avoid dry mouth or dehydration
- Eat whole foods to address upset stomach or nausea
The importance of your first aid kit is significant because harmful thoughts, behaviours, emotions and body reactions turn stress into a non-adaptive crisis. Your mental health first aid kit needs to be so full that anything harmful is addressed or prevented.
We don’t all react to stressful situations or stressors in the same way, so what goes into your own stress first aid kit, needs to be available options that you are comfortable using or trying when stress shows up! It is YOUR first aid kit! Build it up and tune in to what is the most effective for you.