As part of the Mental Health First Aid Aware course we have attended, Dr Cecile Bowie covered the Stress Container model. Everyone has a stress container varying in capacity and vulnerability. Stress flows into our container and when it overflows, issues develop. However, helpful coping strategies release stress to prevent issues emerging.
My helpful coping strategies
- Walking – The majority of my commute to EBC involves walking and I always hit 10,000 steps a day. Walking helps clear my mind at the start and end of the working day and walking has been shown to help maintain cognitive ability, regulate mood and boost creativity.
- Protected downtime – I make a conscious effort to schedule in downtime each week. Time with no plans, no responsibilities and no chores. I use my time to do whatever I feel my mind needs, so this could be baking, reading, painting or watching TV. Time to relax and rejuvenate.
- Hump day endorphins – Due to other commitments, I find it difficult to commit to a daily fitness regime. However, I always try to do some form of scheduled exercise on a Wednesday. For me, it’s either yoga or going for a run.
- Active weekends – I try to combine activity with social plans at weekends, making exercise sociable and fun. Chatty jogs with friends, escaping to the countryside to go hiking or attending my local parkrun.
- Talking – I recently moved to a new city into a house full of strangers, so I am at high risk of experiencing loneliness. To combat this, I ensure I get my daily dose of meaningful social interaction. Whether this is inviting my friends who live nearby round for dinner or ringing people up for a chat.
I am proud to work for a place that takes mental health seriously.