The Stress Bucket – How we manage stress

April 9, 2021

As part of Stress Awareness Month we wanted to help you to understand how we manage stress. 

We can view the way we manage stress like a tap and bucket, with the tap being the things that create stress and the bucket being our ability to carry and cope with stress. 

Stress is a normal part of life and it’s not always bad, we need a certain level of stress to encourage us to take action and get things done. 

However, if there are too many stressors in our life and we don’t have effective coping strategies in place, our stress levels can become harmful, making us feel overwhelmed and like we’re about to ‘burst’. 

1.

Stress is a normal part of life – we can view the way we manage stress like a tap and bucket, the tap being the things that create stress and the bucket being our ability to carry stress.

Some stress can be good and some can be bad, but both take up space in our Stress Bucket!

2.

There may be times when the amount of demands/stressors that we’re experiencing fills our bucket to a level that is harmful, and can eventually cause us to feel overwhelmed and like we’re about to ‘burst’.

3.

Coping abilities/strategies help us to let go of the unnecessary stressors that fill up our bucket.

It’s important to remember that we can’t flush everything out of our Stress Bucket – we need to be able to tolerate a certain level of stress.

4.

Some coping strategies are less effective at helping us to deal with stress, and although these strategies might provide some temporary relief (such as comfort eating), they aren’t healthy in the longer-term.

5.

Healthy coping strategies help us to keep our stress at a manageable level over the long-term – some healthy strategies are: rest and relaxation, talking to someone you trust, or doing something you enjoy (i.e. exercise or art).

6.

If you do find that your stress-levels reach a point where you feel overwhelmed and are struggling to cope on your own, this is when it’s important to communicate and seek support.

Take some time to think about the good and bad sources of stress in your life – doing this helps us to identify and prioritise the stressors we can control, to manage how much stress we’re placing on ourselves. You can also think about what coping strategies you might use, are these effective in helping to relieve stress, or might they actually be creating more stress? 

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