Stress is something we all experience. We all face a range of challenges and stressors relative to our personal, social, and cultural lived experience. Some stress can be good – for example a little pressure may motivate us to complete a task – but dealing with constant or high levels of stress can put our well-being at risk. While we can’t always take stress away, we can learn ways to help manage it. Fortunately there are skills we can develop and strategies we can use in order to promote and protect our mental health and well-being during times of stress.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we learn ways to manage stress.
As a class, group, or family:
· Talk about stress. Stress is something we all experience so it is important to talk about it.
o Early Years-Primary: Discuss what stress may look like, sound like, and feel like (i.e., stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension; it can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous; sometimes stress is caused by a problem that’s hard to cope with or a problem that goes on for a while;
o Junior-Secondary: Watch the video, “SMHO Skills for Students: Managing The Stress You Feel” (https://youtu.be/qiNC-P9GKdg). When it is over, have a discussion. Use the green “handling stress” conversation starter cards developed by SMHO (https://smho-smso.ca/blog/online-resources/class-conversation-starters/) to add to your discussion.
· Make a go-to list of quick, healthy coping and calming strategies. Having a list of simple ways that work for you to relieve your stress is very beneficial. Many of our faith-based strategies, such as praying, meditating, and writing a letter to God, can help manage our stress. Other ideas could be to take a walk, colour or draw, have a drink or snack, listen to music, or talk to someone. This resource from SMHO has simple actions we can do to help take care of ourselves: https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Self-Care-101.pdf
· Check out some of our Wellness Wednesday posts for other coping and calming ideas:
o "Take A Deep Breath" https://22.files.edl.io/9443/08/25/22/132756-55e69a57-7953-46b5-b21d-1438f57f7905.pdf
o "Recognize Our Emotions" https://22.files.edl.io/0ded/09/16/22/170857-7165932e-21be-4743-b829-93734464bc06.pdf
o "Check Your Temperature" https://22.files.edl.io/b20e/09/16/22/170914-f9f3f681-798a-45f6-ab0f-db75bdd2aa8f.pdf
o "Ground Ourselves" https://22.files.edl.io/2dc5/09/16/22/171028-77b792ed-5645-494f-80a8-deb4b63bad4b.pdf
o "Create Our Calm" https://22.files.edl.io/bf44/09/16/22/171224-35934c18-c13e-43cc-8f1a-894affc73ec4.pdf
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
What has helped me in moments of stress?
How did it help me?
Connecting to our faith:
Turning to God in times of stress can help us manage difficult situations in our lives. Jesus teaches us that all things can be made easier when we ask God for help.
“Trouble and anguish have come upon me, but your commandments are my delight.” (Psalm 119:143)
Let us pray: Encouraging God, provide us with peace in our hearts as we bring our prayers to you. May we rejoice in the knowledge that our faith in You will see us through challenging times. Amen
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: SMHO’s Stress Management and Coping activities https://smho-smso.ca/fw/stress-management-and-coping/
CAREGIVER RESOURCE: “Easy and Fun Mental Health Activities for Home”) https://smho-smso.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/EDMH-ParentActivities-FINAL-EN.pdf
PUBLIC HEALTH EDUCATOR TOOL: Coping, Resiliency, and Stress Mental Health Series www.swpublichealth.ca/en/partners-and-professionals/resources/Educators/Curriculum/December-and-January-Mental-Health-Resource-for-Schools-English-Version-16.pdf
CHILDREN’S BOOK: “Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves!” by Trevor Romain