Coping with stress – a short course

Welcome to the course.

This first section is all about stress and worry.

We all get stressed sometimes. It can be helpful to know how to deal with it. Stress can be bad for you, bad for your relationship, and bad for your children.

In this section, you will learn about:

  • How your worries can get in the way.
  • The different ways stress can affect you.
  • Ways of coping with stress.
  • Why alcohol isn’t always the best way of coping.

Perhaps most importantly, dealing with stress through drinking can lead to arguments with your partner, and these arguments can leave your children feeling worried, frightened and confused. 

 

Activity progress 0 of 30 Complete

Activity progress 0 of 30 Complete

15
Supporting each other
When your partner has a problem, you can offer support in two different ways: 1. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT: This is when you show that you have understood.2. PRACTICAL SUPPORT: This is when you offer ways of solving the problem. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT is important because it shows your partner that you are there for them. It is always better to listen first without offering advice. Listen to your partner’s feelings. Show that you understand. Give them a confidence boost: “You can do it!” Stick together. Reassure them.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t offer PRACTICAL SUPPORT at all, but you should try to offer EMOTIONAL SUPPORT first. The next two clips will show you how this works. Ada tells Jason about a problem. In the first clip, Jason offers PRACTICAL SUPPORT without offering emotional support.    Watch the first clip: Jason doesn’t offer much emotional support. He seems impatient and annoyed. Right at the start, he says: “It’s them that’s meant to be dealing with it”. Then he dismisses the problem: “It’s probably just a phase”. When Ada comes up with her own solution, Jason doesn’t really want to help. He says: “There’s no point in overreacting”. Even when Ada tells him how upset she is, he ignores her. Instead, he offers this practical support, which isn’t very helpful: “Maybe we should start looking for a different nursery”.  Can you see from Ada’s body language that this isn’t the response she was hoping for?    Now watch the second clip. This time, Jason offers EMOTIONAL SUPPORT first. This time, Jason is a much better listener. He turns towards Ada and shows he understands: “Oh no”. Ada then has a chance to talk about how she feels. Jason comforts her: “I’m sorry you had to deal with that on your own”. Jason asks questions to find out more about the problem: “What do you think is causing it?” He offers reassurance: “You’re not useless”. Jason does offer practical support, but only after he has listened to Ada. When Ada suggests seeing the doctor, Jason says: “Let me book it”. Can you see that Jason’s response was more helpful this time? Ada feels better supported emotionally, so it’s easier for her to accept the offer of practical support.   What else do you notice about the way Jason and Ada communicate with each other? What could you do to help your partner feel more supported in future? What did Jason do in the second clip that you might be able to try? What would make it easier to do this? What would make it harder?  
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24
A situation
How can you turn HARMFUL arguments into HELPFUL arguments? When you know that an argument is happening, the first thing to do is STOP. This means: Staying calm Listening Trying to see it from your partner’s point of view  You’ve just seen a situation going badly. In this clip, Jason CRITICISED Ada about the mess. Ada reacted by DEFENDING her position. This led to a HARMFUL ARGUMENT. Jason and Ada were: Critical Defensive Blaming each other Trying to win the argument  There are three important skills that can help make your arguments more HELPFUL. 1. Stay calm When you are calm, it’s easier to stop the conversation from getting worse: Slow down Take a deep breath Keep your emotions under control Get your thoughts together 2. Listen  Sometimes, when we should be listening, we are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next. When you really listen, it will be easier to understand your partner’s point of view.   3. See things differently It’s easy to assume the worst, but you won’t always know the whole story. Try and see things from your partner’s point of view before you respond.   Now watch the next clip to see how things can go better when you use these skills. What did Jason do differently? Did you see how he stayed calm and listened? How did this make it easier for Ada to respond? Why was Jason able to see things from Ada’s point of view? How did this help the conversation? On the next page, you will hear how Jason and Ada felt in each of these situations.     
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