– stress is common
– prolonged stress affects physical & mental health
– leaving job/moving house – big decisions best left until well
– ongoing stress in personal relationships often lead to depression & anxiety
– learn how to assertively & sensitively express feelings to address conflict as it comes up
– learn to relax & find time for things you enjoy
– take control of wok (reduce long hours/extra responsibilities wherever you can)
– learn to say “no” to create balance
– short-term symptom relief strategies – incorporate breathing & PMR when you can during your day
– healthy lifestyle (eating; AOD; sleep; exercise)
– prepare simple meals
– prepare where you can ahead of time
[healthy eating Factsheet #30 Healthy Eating for People with Depression, Anxiety & Related Disorders – Source: ]
– exercise – increase activity levels gradually by doing small, everyday tasks (behaviour activation)
– plan activities that give you pleasure – at first thy may not feel as enjoyable, but persist
– engage in social activities with family, friends & accept invitations (follow-through even if reluctant) – connection requires practice & builds confidence
– plan a routine for exercise & try to stick to it while acknowledging the need to be flexible
[keeping active Factsheet #8 – source: ]
– Get good sleep
– schedule for going to bed & arising
– worry at night – schedule time for that during the day (& use a journal)
– avoid caffeine after 4pm
– recommend no more than 2 caffeinated drinks per day
– avoid use of alcohol as a means for going to sleep (as alcohol breaks down in your body it acts as a stimulant & wakes you; it also induces lower quality & more shallow sleep)
– wind down time of 30 minutes before going to sleep (no stimulating activity)
[Sleeping well fact sheet #7 – source: ]
– Speed, ecstasy, ice exacerbate symptoms of depression
[Reducing Alcohol and other drugs fact sheet #9 – source: ]
– identify/recognise your triggers:
– family/relationship problems
– financial difficulties
– changes in living arrangements
– changes in job/moving jobs/losing a job
– health problems
– using AOD
[cannot avoid – stress management techniques; conflict resolution skills]
– note the warning signs:
– getting up later
– finding it hard to concentrate
– skipping meals/eating unhealthily
– having disturbed sleep
– feeling irritable, stressed, teary
– withdrawing socially/wanting to spend a lot of time alone
[reflect on what you may have experienced in the past]
– Setbacks will & do occur
– do not blame self – normalise
– try again
– focus on achievements
– learn from the setbacks



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