The Coping Kete

Tag Archives: Problem-solving

No 16 – Regular contact

This week, in order to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellness…

I will reach out to another person to talk about my day and what’s on my plate every day.  I will also give the other person the chance to talk to me about their day and what is on their plate at the same time.  This way things will not build up for me and I will get ongoing support and access to other perspectives.  If I am upset, I might get comfort and understanding.

This may take some planning, especially for those of us who are still building a social support network.  On days when I do not know who to ring, visit or chat to at the water cooler, I will call Youthline, Warmline or Lifeline and utilise a pair of expert ears.

It helps to make a list of people you can call.  And to start off with there’s

  • Youthline – Ph: 0800 37 66 33 | Free text: 234 | email: talk@youthline.co.nz
  • Warmline – Ph: 0508 WARMLINE or 0508 927 654
  • Lifeline – Ph: 0800 LIFE LINE or 0800 543 345
  • The Phobic Trust: 24-Hour Anxiety Help-Line; 0800 1 4 ANXIETY
  • A parent; A sibling or cousin; A friend; Another friend; A colleague

Once I am used to reaching out to someone regularly, I will add “Call Someone To Talk About It” to my Personal Coping Kete as something to do during times of stress.


No. 10 – Permission to be Fully Human

This week, in order to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellbeing…

I will have realistic expectations of myself and give myself permission to be average.   By giving myself permission to be average this week, I free myself from the pressures of trying to be perfect or trying to appear like I’ve got everything together.  I will tell myself things like “Today I only need to do what I can do.  What I can do is enough.”

This week it will be okay to make mistakes and say silly things occasionally, to not know what is happening, to need to ask questions and to feel distressing emotions. If I notice I am worrying about those things, I will remind myself “I only need to do what I can do.  What I can do is enough.”

Often times it is our negative judgement of our own experiences and the pressure we put on ourselves to achieve our high expectations that creates and/or intensifies our experiences of stress and distress.

This week, I give myself permission to be fully human, rather than an idealised version of myself. My mistakes are learning experiences that will strengthen me, not distressing experiences to regret and avoid.

Once I have experienced a whole week of being average and nothing terrible happening as I consequence, I will add ‘Give Myself Permission to Be Human’ to my Personal Coping Kete. When I notice that I am feeling stressed, pressed or distressed, I will remind myself that all I need to do is survive the current moment.

No. 5 – Regular Self-Checks

This week, to attain, maintain or retain my sense of wellness …

I will practice being mindful of what I am feeling and what I need.  Once every hour or two, I will check in by mentally asking myself ’what do I feel right now?’ and then ‘what do I need to do for myself right now?’

I will give myself those things that I am capable of giving (or getting).  Do I need food? Sleep? A breath or two? Reassurance? A kind thought? A glass of water? A chat? A distraction? Assistance? By creating small moments in my day, I will become practiced in the art of responding to my needs as well as privately connecting with and expressing my feelings.

Once I am comfortable with creating moments in my days, I will add ‘Do a Self-Check’ to my Personal Coping Kete as a strategy for moments of stress and distress.

No. 3 – Space to Make Considered Responses

This week, in order to attain, maintain or regain my sense of wellness…

I will practice giving myself the opportunity to respond consciously with awareness, rather than automatically, based on emotion.  Each day I will take 5 minutes out, to think about a time of minor stress during the day and write down in a notebook

  • what just happened
  • what it made me think of at the time
  • what I would like to do next
  • and what I will do next

Sometimes we get distressed because things seem overwhelming and out of our control.

If we take some time out of the situation and work through it, we are able to access a wider perspective of our environment, why it’s affecting us and what to do next.

Writing helps to focus the mind on the task at hand & flick us over into a more methodical frame of mind.

Once I have gotten comfortable with thinking about my experiences in this way, I will add ‘Write Myself Through a Considered Response’ to my Personal Coping Kete for use in times of stress and distress.