How big is your bucket?
How big is your bucket? How much can you carry? How do you keep the load manageable?
Yes it is mental health awareness week, and (in case you didn’t read the last two weeks’ blogs) it’s all about stress. One of the ways we can helpfully think about dealing with stress is the idea of a stress container ... or stress bucket. If you feel resilient and strong, then maybe your container has plenty of room for stressors before you feel overwhelmed. But if you are feeling vulnerable, then maybe your stress container fills quickly and easily. It is a fact of life that some of us are more easily overwhelmed than others, and that at some times we are more vulnerable than at other times.
However vulnerable we may be at a particular time, the important thing is that our stress bucket is not allowed to fill up to over-flowing. We need to find ways to relieve the stress. That elusive thing called a life balance depends on us having ways to release the pressure of stress on a daily basis.
We all manage stress in some way, but some coping strategies are better than others. Some just hide the stress - for example: bottling up our feelings; others actually increase it - for example excessive alcohol consumption; sometimes we pretend it isn’t there and work harder! When we are stressed it is all the more important to find time for those things which really do reduce stress: exercise, friends, hobbies, sleep ...
What are you doing this week to reduce stress?
If you would like to read some more, then go to the Mental Health First Aid site which, this week, has an “address your stress toolkit”.