Life can often present us with challenges, at times we may feel overwhelmed and stuck. Here are some thoughts about ways to maintain a healthy ‘headspace’ and manage these challenges.
• We all have coping strategies – some better ones than others.
• Reflect on the strategies that have helped you through tough times in the past. Some of these challenges may have been with friends, experiencing peer pressure or bullying, relationship break ups or difficulties or dealing with a diagnosis of an illness or just generally feeling bad about yourself.
• Some positive coping strategies you can try; exercise, relaxation techniques, talking to a friend/ relative orcounsellor, journaling or doing art.
• Experiment with what works best for you!
• Understanding more about what you’re going through can help make sense of things.
• Gaining information and getting clear can help you make better decisions about relationships, career paths or how you want to live your life.
• Some ways to get better informed – reading information on websites or articles, listening to podcasts, talk to others who have had similar experiences, or ask a trusted adult or counsellor for advice.
Looking after yourself and your health
• Being responsible and reducing the use of drugs and alcohol can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
• Eating well can reduce the risk of physical health problems, but it can also help with your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and your general health and wellbeing.
• Spending time doing the things you love – reading, walking, paining, being with friends, playing sport or an instrument.
• Getting a good night’s sleep can help you feel energised, focused and motivated.
• Physical activity is important for everyone’s health and wellbeing. Any form of physical activity (a swim in the ocean, bike riding, kicking a ball with a friend at the park, or even walking around the block) can help relieve stress.
• Getting involved with volunteer work, hobbies, clubs or committees, or sports can help you feel connected to your wider community and you meet new people.
Find your way that helps you to relax
• Listening or playing music
• Remembering to breathe! Breathing in slowly for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 2 seconds and breathing out slowly for 6 seconds.
• Yoga and meditation
• Progressive muscle relaxation
• Mindfulness techniques
When it may be useful to seek help from a counsellor?
• Sometimes you may have a problem that seems too hard to solve alone, even with support from friends and family.
• Be honest with yourself about when you may need support and get professional help.
• Getting help from a cousnellor might feel scary at the start but it gets easier over time.
• Counseling provides a non-judgmental and confidential space, to get clearer about ones goals, purpose and options for managing challenges.
Counseling may help you?
• Gain greater insight, awareness and understanding of ‘self’
• To become clearer about the values and principles that are important to you.
• To be less reactive, more thoughtful and calmer.
• Develop assertiveness skills
• Improve self-esteem and self-respect.
• Develop conflict resolution skills.
• To work on your self-talk.
• Develop strategies for managing and understanding overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression.