Level One: The Basics
Stress & Self Care
Level One teaches you what stress is and how it impacts your life.
What is Stress?
Stress is the perception of a threat or demand combined with the perception that our responses are inadequate.
Function: Be Alert! Pay Attention!
Fight/Flight Response: An automatic physiological response designed to ensure physical survival:
This response was once very adaptive, but may be an over-reaction to stressors in modern life.
Some stress is good for you!
Eustress is healthy stress:
Distress is when your body and mind's stress response is prolonged, and the "alerting response" fails to cease. When this occurs, your stress symptoms build in intensity and you experience unhealthy stress and anxiety. When our behaviors are inconsistent with our values, we experience a type of stress known as cognitive dissonance.
There are different ways people react to stress, which produce different kinds of symptoms:
Click here for a Stress Symptoms Checklist (PDF 1.47MB) is adopted from Kate Young, Ph.D. and designed to help you better understand how you react to stress. Think about your symptoms during the past two weeks. This will not generate a score and is for your reflection. We encourage you to keep a record of the completed checklist to monitor changes and improvements in your stress symptoms.
The Stress Symptoms Checklist is a clickable PDF form. The form works in Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari, but does not always work in Firefox. If you are having trouble selecting checkboxes, please download the PDF to your computer to use it.
Self Care Inventory
We all have our own needs and limits - taking good care of yourself means paying attention to what you need in order to be healthy, happy, and productive.
Self care is different than being selfish. Being selfish means doing whatever you want to do, without consideration for others' thoughts, feelings, and needs - even if your behavior is harmful to others.
Healthy Self Care is different. If you take good care of yourself, you will have more resources and energy to:
Self care makes you stronger, healthier, and happier!
Everyone has different ways of taking care of themselves. You are the expert on yourself and will know best how to take care of yourself in a healthy, positive way.
The Self Care Inventory has common healthy self care strategies. There may be lots of other strategies that work for you - feel free to enter your own in the spaces marked ‘other’.
Download the Self Care Assessment (PDF 81KB) and get your Self Care Score!
Sometimes you may engage in behaviors that make you feel better for a little while, but which may not be healthy and positive in the long run. These are Negative Coping Techniques. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do that are both enjoyable and healthy. These are Positive Coping Techniques.
Click here for a Stress Coping Checklist (PDF 1.03MB)* is adopted from Kate Young, Ph.D. and designed to help you better understand your coping style! Think about your coping techniques during the past two weeks. This will not generate a score and is for your reflection. We encourage you to keep a record of the completed checklist to monitor changes and improvements in your coping style.
Want more tips for good self care? Check out our Strategies List below.
Remember: Work Hard, Play Hard, Rest Hard!
* The Self Care Inventory is a clickable PDF form. The form works in Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari, but does not always work in Firefox. If you are having trouble filling in the form, please download the PDF to your computer to use it.
Self Care Strategies
Set good boundaries - boundaries are ways to maintain your own space, whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological
Get a buddy to keep you accountable
Clearly define your priorities and values
Keep a sense of perspective - sometimes a problem gets bigger in our heads than it is in real life!
Manage your time wisely
Track your own repetitive patterns
Utilize your spiritual resources
Seek help and support on a regular basis - not just when you are in a crisis
Feel like a Stress Pro? Go to Level Two to learn how to manage stress in your day to day life.