When you hear the term coping plan, what do you think? Is it only for people struggle with addiction or those who are prone to suicidality? What good would a formal coping plan do for me if I only struggle with feeling overwhelmed? Well more often than not when we are stressed, we are not thinking and functioning at full capacity. It can be helpful to have a written list somewhere convenient like your device, wallet, or vehicle that you can refer to for help.
Coping strategies are the thoughts and behaviors used to combat destructive feelings and patterns as well as promote resilience and healthy balance. Your plan’s coping strategies should number at least 10 and address the biological, social, psychological and spiritual components of self in order to provide a more holistic and affective approach to success. Below are a few suggestions for your own coping plan. This list is not exhaustive but can serve as a starting point for developing your decompression plan.
Identify what triggered feeling overwhelmed
Assess food, caffeine and sugar intake.
State 10 things you are grateful for in this moment.
Reframe critical self-talk to encouraging narrative
Recall affirmations given by friends/family/coworkers
Pray, meditate or practice deep breathing exercises
Journal about your feelings/experiences
Call a friend or family member for encouragement and accountability
Exercise of some sort for at least 20 minutes
Assess sleep history and plan to adjust if needed
Read or watch something comical
Say something nice to someone or just smile
Remember you always have options and choices to change your mindset
Declutter or organize a space in your home or office
Listen to uplifting and encouraging music or podcast
Plan a time for self care be it alone or with friends in next 24 hours
Remember to strive for excellence and never perfection
Set small achievable goals and cross them off when complete
Avoid negative people
Ask for help and delegate where possible
Take stock of your achievements both big and small
Begin using your plan daily. Hopefully through implementing your strategies, you will grow in building awareness and healthy habits that will minimize or even prevent stress in your life.