Have a tool­kit for stress

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - OL­WEN AN­DER­SON Ol­wen An­der­son is a natur­opath and coun­sel­lor. www.ol­we­nan­der­son.com.au

MOST peo­ple have one – you prob­a­bly do too.

It’s a ‘spe­cial’ drawer some­where in the house, usu­ally a kitchen drawer.

It’s usu­ally stuffed to the brim with tools you’re sure to need some time: re­place­ment light globes, bat­ter­ies, odd nuts, bolts and screws, rub­ber bands...

The drawer re­mains closed most of the time be­cause we don’t usu­ally need to change light bulbs or tighten a loose hinge ev­ery day, but I bet you feel con­fi­dent that when some­thing needs to be fixed, the tool you need will likely be in­side that drawer.

There are times in your life when you prob­a­bly feel you could use a vir­tual ‘fix-it’ drawer stocked with tools to help you cope.

Like when the de­mands of life sud­denly pro­pel you from a sense of cop­ing to a sense of over­whelm.

Per­haps you have to un­tan­gle a le­gal is­sue, or your job has evap­o­rated and so your in­come has too. Or the re­la­tion­ship you thought was ‘the one’ turns out to be quite the op­po­site. It’s stress­ful.

But even pos­i­tive events can stretch your cop­ing abil­i­ties: like start­ing a new job, mov­ing house, plan­ning a wed­ding. What­ever the rea­son, your usual health man­age­ment prac­tices just don’t seem to be enough.

When life gets like this, it’s re­as­sur­ing to know you have the health equiv­a­lent of a fix-it drawer on hand to sup­port you, to boost your phys­i­cal and men­tal re­silience un­til life calms down again.

This tool­kit might con­tain the phone num­bers of prac­ti­tion­ers you trust, like a sooth­ing mas­sage ther­a­pist or a coun­sel­lor. A day spa voucher you’ve been sav­ing. Per­haps some sup­ple­ments to nour­ish your ner­vous sys­tem.

How do you know when to reach into your health fix-it drawer for ex­tra sup­port? Well, that could be part of the tool­kit too.

You prob­a­bly al­ready know from un­com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence the signs of stress over­load: like rest­less nights of toss­ing and turn­ing, crav­ings for sugar or los­ing your ap­petite com­pletely. Find­ing it dif­fi­cult to cope with other peo­ple’s quirky driv­ing. Snap­ping at your loved ones for some­thing that re­ally wasn’t that bad.

So maybe a fun project for this week­end could be to put to­gether your health fix-it kit, your go-to re­source to sup­port you when times are tougher than usual.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

RE­LAX: It’s im­por­tant to find strate­gies to deal with stress­ful sit­u­a­tions.

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