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.