Everyone has a stress bucket. Most of us are unaware of it or the important role it plays in our health and well-being.
To explain, first I must take you on a journey. Bear with me, humour me!
Things which you find enjoyable or relaxing
Can you try to think of 10 things which you find enjoyable or relaxing. You don’t have to be doing them at all right now. It is possible you have not done them for some time! Think of things you would like to do if nothing else got in the way and you had all the time in the world to yourself.
Your 10 things
- ?…now it is probably getting harder
- ?…are you beginning to scrape the barrel?
- ?….Don’t give up!
OK – so now I want you to tell me how long you spend doing these things – as a percentage of your day or week…or month…… or year…..
Now it is time for me to introduce you to the Stress Bucket:
Help your Stress Bucket to help you
Everyone has one. Some are small and some are huge, because everyone has a different capacity for coping with stress. No stress buckets are infinite, but your vulnerability determines the size of your bucket. Every stress bucket has a little tap on the side. This is it’s most important feature!
All your stresses pour into the top.
Gradually the bucket fills up with stress.
The little tap
But here’s the thing… Every time you do something which you enjoy or which relaxes you, the little tap on the side opens up and a little of your stress is released. In this way your stress will not overtop the bucket. This is key maintenance for you, your failsafe mechanism. It is vital that you use it! When your tap is working you will experience good coping. A faulty or seized tap, from under use, will cause your bucket to overflow.
If you fail to release the stress, then it will build up until eventually it will cause a breakdown. We all have our limits, unfortunately. This is bad coping.
Everyone needs a bit of ‘Me’ time.
The Stress Bucket message
So the message is that this is essential maintenance if:
- You are caring for someone else.
- There is pressured on you from any direction.
- People are relying on you.
- Health issues are affecting you.
Take a little time out for yourself and do a bit of personal maintenance.
- No need to feel guilty.
- Do not apologise.
You will be no use to anyone if you allow yourself to become ill and break down. If you allow your stress to overflow, it is much harder to recover afterwards.
We value your feedback
We do hope that you find this analogy helpful and that you take the message it delivers seriously. Please contact us with your feedback. Tell us what you find relaxing and enjoyable. Knowing how this has made a difference to you – before and after – can help others too.
Stay healthy and effective!
Our post about Well-Being and Ill-Being can be found here