How to build positive strategies for dealing with stress.


What is stress?

Stress is the body’s way of dealing with a threat, pressure or life event. While generally good for survival, it’s not the dark ages and we don’t always have to be in a state of “flight-or-fight”. When stress starts causing issues, we need to put some positive strategies in place to manage it.

So first things first, you’re not alone

Work, money, study, parenthood, health, anxiety and relationships are just a few examples of stressors. In fact, no one is immune to stress.

85% of the UK adult population experience stress regularly (1) and research has shown that 43% of adults find it difficult to switch off from work with a massive 67% still focused on work issues when they come home (2).

So how do we deal with it so it works for us, not against us?

The Stress Bucket

Imagine everyone is born with a bucket that they carry around with them. Stressors like change, bereavement, jobs, family and relationship stress fill up that bucket over time. They key is to find healthy and effective ways to put holes in your bucket to release stress before it overflows.

Some people choose alcohol to deal with stress, and while it may allow you to relax in the short term, in the long run it can become an unhealthy coping mechanism which could lead to dependency.

I was in a high pressure job and felt I deserved to relax with some wine in the evening. It started off innocently enough, switching from work to home life with the help of a glass of wine, but this quickly became two and three and before too long a bottle a night was a regular thing.
— DrinkCoach client.

What are some healthy ways reduce stress?

We asked our DrinkCoach coaches what they recommend to their clients to help tackle stress and they came back with some great tips.

1. Work out what is causing you stress.

Once you identify your stressors you can start to work towards tackling them.

2. There is no universal fix for stress.

Identify your own personal self-soothing strategies. Ask yourself: What has worked for me in the past to help combat stress? These may include meditation, talking to a professional, confiding in a close friend or relative, having a hot bath or exercise.

3. Create a goal and stick to it!

Figure out how you’re going to proactively manage your stress. Your goals could be to avoid alcohol when stressed, go running 3 times a week or mediate for 5 minutes a day. Writing goals down on paper helps you remember and commit.

Coaching, in particular, is an effective way of tackling stress. Having someone to report and feed back to keeps you motivated to stick to your commitments. As coaches we encourage, advise, motivate and most importantly never judge.
— Mark Holmes - Alcohol specialist nurse and drink coach

Just remember that being “stressed out” doesn’t have to be the norm. Find out what works for you and try not to be so hard on yourself. Stress is natural and important for survival!

If stress is causing you to turn to alcohol and you’re worried about how much you are drinking you can take our 2-min Alcohol test, download our app or book 1-2-1 coaching sessions with one of our 10 fantastic coaches.

Also, follow us on Twitter for daily stress busting tips throughout #StressAwarenessMonth this April.




francesca sinclair