We know that for lots of kinship carers, emotional stress can be a real issue. For many, becoming a kinship carer is something that happens suddenly, with stories such as Meyrem’s repeated in communities right across the UK. We hear many positive stories from kinship carers in our community about the joys of bringing up relatives’ and friends’ children and of how you’ve adapted to build a new environment.
However, life changing circumstances like these can cause a great deal of stress, and for many we know that societal pressures such as the current cost of living crisis are exacerbating feelings of worry.
To mark stress awareness month, we’ve put together some top tips and coping techniques which you may find helpful for dealing with emotional stress.
1. Practice acceptance
Thinking that you can control everything around you is unrealistic and can cause significant distress. Try focusing only on your circle of control and the things that you can have direct influence over.
2. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
As simple as it may sound, getting a good quality night’s sleep is vital to your wellbeing. Aim for at least seven hours of good quality sleep a night. You’ll find lots of tips for establishing healthy sleep habits in this great article.
3. Try meditation
Meditation is a fantastic way to tackle emotional stress. It helps tackle emotional tension and diverts your thoughts to calmer alternatives. Apps such as Calm and Headspace have free guided meditations that you can follow whilst you can find lots of free videos on Youtube.
4. Block off some mindfulness time
If you find yourself ruminating over your problems quite a lot and distraction doesn’t work, try scheduling in time to sit with your thoughts and practise techniques such as journaling.
This technique works well for two key reasons. If you really have the urge to obsess, blocking out time to do so allows you to satisfy that craving in a limited way. You also may be more relaxed, as you know that there’ll be a set time to focus on your emotional situation later on in the day.
Exploring your emotions, challenges and potential solutions through journaling can be a really healthy coping technique. You could also try talking to a friend too.
5. Seek professional guidance for emotional stress
If you think it might help, consider speaking to a professional therapist or counsellor. If you feel like you’re overwhelmed and that things are only getting worse, speak to your GP who may be able to refer you for further support.
Don’t stay stuck in a rut and “frozen” with your feelings. Seek professional help.
Where you can find more tips and information to tackle emotional stress
You’ll find lots of advice and information on emotional stress on our website. There are a range of topics covered including anxiety, depression and loneliness, with lots of links on where you can get help.