How to develop your stress management plan

First make six copies each of Table 15.3 Stress management plan evaluation (page 192) and Table 15.4 Revised stress management plan (page 193). Keep these tables in a folder to complete as you undertake your SMP. They will also provide a useful source of reference if you need to revise your plan.

Day 0: Tackling your three key stressors

Before you can implement your SMP you need to devise a way of dealing with your three key stressors. This will be the aim of your SMP. To do this, first of all focus on possible stress management techniques that you feel may help to deal with each of your three key stressors. Identify up to six techniques that you feel you would prefer to use and write them in Table 15.1.

Now consider each of your three key stressors (from Table 8.3 on page 104) in turn. In Table 15.2 write out how you plan to tackle each key stressor, by using one or more of the techniques which you have chosen (in Table 15.1). Think about how you can put these techniques into action. You may find it helpful to refer to your responses from the coping ability self-assessment on page 110 when choosing your techniques. Items 1 to 9 reflect helpful techniques for dealing effectively with stress, so focus on enhancing those where you answered Yes and strive to achieve those where you answered No. Items 10 to 15, however, reflect inappropriate technique for dealing with stress. Select techniques to change your lifestyle for those items where you have answered Yes.

You may need to use more than one technique for each stressor. Also you may decide to use the same technique for more than one of your key stressors. If you think your selected techniques seem inappropriate for your key stressors, then refer back to the variety of techniques described in Chapters 9 to 14 to select one that you feel may be more suitable.

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