Coach Me Free logo

Is your stress bucket overflowing? How to recognise how stressed you are and what to do about it before it’s too late.

Coach Joanna Wilczynska MA by Joanna Wilczynska MA
View the authors Profile

Stress is a part of life and hoping "things will get better with time" may result in everything but.

One of the tools you can use to check in with yourself is the stress bucket. I use it as follows to examine:

- What are my general stressors currently (e.g. health or professional pressures)?

- Why has a particular person or situation caused me stress? Was it something they said or did? Why has this pressed my "stress" button? Did they overstep a boundary? Did they remind me of something that happened in the past?

This allows me then to think actively about what I can do alleviate each situation. Sometimes that will mean:

1. Creating a tangible action plan:

- What can I do about it?
- What is outside of my control here?
- Who do I need to speak to?
- Who can support me?
- What can I do today?
- What will my next steps be?
- How will I know it's been resolved?

2. And any of the below, individually or collectively:

- Driving to the coast for the day having left my phone in flight mode
- Ranting to a friend
- “Rage” journaling (i.e. writing down all thoughts that come to mind without judgement and allowing the anger & frustration to flow through the pen until you're spent)
- Doing breathing exercises
- Mindful walking
- Guided meditation
- A spin class
- Singing out of tune to a heavy metal song (personal choice!)
- Going out for a meal to a new restaurant or a festival - whatever works for you, whatever helps you to release the stress.

The final element is being really self-aware in how you are doing. Imagine you’re looking at a bucket to see how full it is. The fuller it is, the more stressed and overwhelmed you are. Ask yourself, am I:

1. Relaxed
2. Coping well
3. Becoming anxious or already…
4. Overwhelmed?

For years I couldn't tell before it was too late; I'd go from relaxed to overwhelmed before I knew it happened. Now, I listen in to what's going on around and INSIDE of me - looking out for new/random aches and pains, headaches, digestive and sleep-related issues, to name a few. And doing something about the tension before it overflows.

If you'd like to find out more about how to manage your stress levels for a better quality of life or to manage/prevent overwhelm and burnout, let's chat:

Log in or Register to contact this coach.

Click here view more info about this coach, Joanna Wilczynska MA