Stress Awareness Month: How do we build resilience and long-term coping skills?
April 27 2022
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to withstand setbacks and bounce back more quickly from adversity. It is possible to build resilience over time; the process consists of a finding and using sets of tools to help you to feel better, which differ based on the kind and level of stressor you’re facing.
It can be hard to know where to start with building resilience, so Togetherall’s clinical team shared some tips on creating a foundation of coping tools.
A healthy lifestyle
It comes as a surprise to nobody that living a healthy lifestyle can help us to better cope with stress. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all beneficial in increasing our resilience and improving our mental wellbeing in general.
As stress hormones are controlled by the adrenal gland, which is impacted by blood sugar levels, limiting unhealthy sugary foods can help us to better regulate the level of cortisol in our bodies.
Getting the right amount of sleep is incredibly important to managing stress and your mental wellbeing overall long-term. When you go to sleep, parasympathetic processes are being activated in the body that work over the course of many hours to reduce the body back to a ‘baseline’.
If we were to track sleep over time, we’d see the heart rate steadily decrease as the night goes on. If you are not hitting your lowest resting heart rate during your sleep period, for example if you have abbreviated sleep or your sleep’s being interrupted a lot, you can’t hit that point of full relaxation, leaving residual stress in your system.
As we mentioned in our previous article on stress, exercise can help bring our stress levels down when it feels overwhelming by helping us to better metabolize the cortisol and adrenaline that is released when we’re stressed. Keeping to a routine of regular exercise also boosts endorphin levels, which acts as a natural painkiller.
A sense of community
Having someone to talk to is an effective way of combating stress. Peterson et al (2008) found that peer support groups were effective at helping to alleviate workplace stress through such categorized experiences as “talking to others in a similar situation” and “a sense of belonging.” Togetherall members use the community as a place to vent and receive support from others and can also find a sense of satisfaction in helping members who may be going through challenging life experiences.
Taking deliberate steps to prioritize relaxation and wellbeing
Being conscious and deliberate in your approach to stress is key in building resilience; have a list of tools that work for you and make sure you implement them on a regular basis. They will differ from person to person, so take the time to search these tools out, know them well and use them when needed. Resilience improves with practice!
Get in touch
Whether you’re looking for a way to reduce stress levels amongst the people in your care or would simply like to give them a place to self-manage their mental wellbeing, Togetherall’s scalable solution is available 24/7. If you’d like to find out more, click the button below to contact and schedule a time to talk with one of our team.