Through a programme of self-help. It involves a four-point framework:
1 thinking about technique(s) which can help to get a handle on a stressor.
2 practising a possible technique(s) by bringing it into your lifestyle as part of your daily routine.
3 evaluating on a regular basis the impact of your chosen technique(s) for each of your significant stressors.
4 revising your choice of techniques as necessary until your significant stressors become insignificant, i.e. until your signs and symptoms score is reduced.
Remember: Think, Practise, Evaluate and Revise: TPER
Your SMP is designed as a 12-week programme (From day 1 to day 85). However, it does not mean that after 12 weeks everything finishes. In fact, it is intended that after 12 weeks you may be making sufficient progress that you do not need to keep referring back to the plan; you just carry on with the good work as part of a modified lifestyle and new you.
If however, you find that the SMP is not working, it may be that the techniques need reviewing. You may need to follow up on other techniques, or you may need more guidance. We have provided a reading list (page 210) and some useful websites (page 211) so that you can explore further afield. The important point is to remember the basis of our four-point SMP: TPER: think about techniques, practise them (give it time), evaluate their impact, revise as appropriate. Do not give up. Stress management is continuous, involving continued learning and refinement. It can take an entire lifetime to achieve. A summary of the procedure in the form of a diary is shown on page 191. It will be useful for reference in monitoring and evaluating your progress.
How to prepare tor a personal stress management plan is covered in Chapter 8. Preparation also involves reading Part Two and Part Three of this blog. Please read these before you commence working and implementing your personal stress management plan.
Your personal SMP is designed to make you to think about tackling significant stressors in your life, including your views, beliefs and expectations about life. You have chosen three key stressors as representing significant events, objects or situations, either distressful or eustressful. Now is there something that can be done about them? This is where thought and planning may help to diminish their effects over time, and prevent them from taking on major significance again. This chapter guides you