This is Section 2 of the Module, How to Help Provide Self-Care and Stress Management. We continue with the scenario we began in Section 1.
Chandra was feeling distressed and didn't know where to turn. So her sister encouraged her to visit their priest, Reverend Alfonso Wyatt.
Knowing Alfonso I just took a chance, and said, you know, what do I have to lose? I'm already fighting this battle alone. A little bit of information can't hurt.
But for Chandra it was very important that she would be listened to without judgement.
I didn't want to hear you could have did this differently, you could have did that differently. You could have came to me sooner, why did you wait so long to ask for my help? Those were definitely words I didn't want to hear because I have heard those words so many times from different people and I didn't want to actually hear that from Alfonso.
It turns out that starting a conversation about stress, can be, well... stressful. So let's take a look at some helpful techniques.
Here are four steps you can use to engage a community member in conversation:
Please click each button to learn more.
Invite Invite the individual to a conversation. Ask permission to start a discussion.
Listen Listen first and acknowledge what you hear, even if you don't agree with it, before you express your own point of view. Acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings. This doesn't indicate you approve of their actions or are willing do what they ask.
Encourage Encourage the individual to direct the conversation. Don't feel you must have an immediate reply. Allow for some quiet. The individual may break the silence and offer a solution.
Reflect Reflect on what is being said. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the individual to be saying.
Rev: Well the reality is that people need help.
It was at this church one Sunday, that Reverend Alfonso used the four steps to engage with Chandra about the stress she was feeling.
I remember when we talked and when you shared and it took all that I had to be so present and to let you know that I was not only hearing you, I was feeling you. And not knowing what we were going to talk about but knowing that whatever it was, it was significant. And I wanted to communicate that I hear you at the level that you were. What were you thinking as you were talking to me?
I was thinking that if there's no one else that I can talk to and trust and not be judged that it would be you.
It was an emotional conversation for both of them, but it left both of them filled with hope.
I think listening is the first thing. Being inviting, non-judgmental, reaching out, encouraging that, you know, we're going to get through this, putting myself in. That we are going to get through this not that you're by yourself or this or that. But it's also, you can't help if you don't know what the story is and what the needs are. So, listening to me and not dysfunctional rescuing or maybe minimizing some of the things that sometimes people do. I didn't want to do that. We did pray but I also knew that after the prayer there needed to be action.
Chandra was now open to new ideas and assistance, and Reverend Alfonso's involvement led to some big improvements.
Now it's time to learn about some stress management techniques to suggest in this situation.
Stress management starts with selfcare. There is not a universal way to practice self-care and there are many possibilities. Each person finds what works best for him or her. Here are a few techniques you can offer community members. Please click each button to learn more.
Click this icon for Stress Management and Relaxation techniques.
Relax Body Relax your body. Improve your sleep schedule, exercise (even for 10 minutes at a time), eat right, listen to your body, drink enough water or herbal tea.
Relax Mind Relax your mind. Think positively, laugh more, practice deep-breathing, practice mindfulness, do something that you enjoy.
Be Proactive Be proactive. Surround yourself with positive social support, make time for relaxation, use problem solving techniques and get organized, and let go - even a little bit.
Your Guidance Encourage community members to consider a holistic approach to wellness that includes social connections. While these steps may seem simple, when people are struggling with lots of stressors, even simple steps may seem overwhelming. Your continued guidance, support and patience can help others recognize and integrate stress management techniques into their lives.
Remember that self-care and stress management is an ongoing, dynamic process that we all should engage in every day.
Thanks to Reverend Alfonso's suggestions, Chandra has started practicing some self-care techniques.
I take care of myself by going to the gym, I love bowling, I find myself sewing. Sometimes I'll just work because I love the work that I do and I listen to gospel music as well. To help me just soothe out my emotions and get in touch with myself.
This self-care is making a big difference in Chandra's mental wellbeing... and those around her have noticed.
I definitely think that you're doing a lot better and it looks like you are more in control. And, sometimes I think that you contributed to the stress because you think you can't do it and I see that you can do it.
I'm proud of that effort that you're putting through.
Overall things are coming together. I'm not as stressed as I was before and I know there's some more coming but I think I'm pretty well prepared now to just handle whatever comes my way.
I think she's turned a corner, life is about turning corners. Everybody has had one of those moments where they may have questioned if they were able to go on. She has turned a corner in a different space and it was so good to see her the person I remember.
Stress management is an important component of wellness. Have you observed these benefits of stress management in community members? Select all that apply. Then click submit.
Response When you see these results, using positive reinforcement can be very beneficial for maintaining the gains over time.
Below are four steps to engage a community member in conversation. Drag the steps into the correct order, then click Submit.
Correct That's right! To engage community members in conversation, follow these four steps: Invite the individual to a conversation. Ask permission to start a discussion. Listen first and acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings. Encourage the individual to direct the conversation. Allow for some quiet. The individual may break the silence and offer a solution. Reflect on what is being said. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the individual to be saying.
Not Correct Sorry, you did not select the correct response. The correct order is: Invite the individual to a conversation. Ask permission to start a discussion. Listen first and acknowledge the person's thoughts and feelings. Encourage the individual to direct the conversation. Allow for some quiet. The individual may break the silence and offer a solution. Reflect on what is being said. Ask clarifying questions and restate what you perceive the individual to be saying.
Below are guidelines for listening. Select all that apply, then click Submit.
Correct That is correct. Listening indicates that you are acknowledging the speaker's thoughts and feelings. This doesn't indicate you approve of their actions or are willing to do what they ask.
Not Correct Sorry, you did not select the correct response. The correct response is: Listening indicates that you are acknowledging the speaker's thoughts and feelings. This doesn't indicate you approve of their actions or are willing to do what they ask.
In this section we covered four steps you can use to engage a community member in conversation:
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