Each of us develop our own ways to cope with situations. Some are active and others are avoiding. There are no right or wrong ways, but depending on the problem, some ways may be more effective than others. Rollover the list below for more information and ideas.
Here are some tips for coping strategies you can use to help yourself as carer or the person you care for.
- Identify the problem– narrow it down if it seems too daunting to tackle all in one go. If you break the problem down into manageable parts you may make progress dealing with one aspect at a time.
- Practical solutions– look for ways to resolve the problem using a positive practical change. You may try to change a method or time scale. Get advice from someone who has experience of a similar problem.
- Emotional solutions– it is normal to get angry or upset sometimes but if the emotion can be turned into positive way of coping the person can feel much better. For example, frustration can be a negative emotion but equally a short burst of frustration followed by calm can be a release which allows you to move on. Directing anger towards an inanimate object like a pillow can “ get it off your chest”.
- Passive solutions– some people would rather “go with the flow” rather than have a conflict. This may not solve a problem but it may help you to change your way of coping with it.
- Avoidance– in some situations moving away from the situation even for a short time can give you space to think and plan your next move. If you totally avoid the problem it will never be resolved.
- Confront head on– Some people are more confident if they tackle an issue in a very direct way. “Some thing has to change so I will do it right now” “ I always go straight to the top to get things done”.
- Distance yourself– this is not the same as avoidance but it makes you look at the problem from another perspective. Put your self in their shoes. Alternatively by distancing you are telling someone you do not want to continue to participate in the same way as you have been doing.
- Control what YOU do– you cannot control what others think or do but you can adapt your ways of coping with a problem
- Accept responsibility– some problems occur because of confusion over who is doing what and when. Once everyone is clear about their responsibilities, tasks are negotiated and completed with everyone knowing what is expected of them.
- Move on– if a problem is almost impossible to resolve, try to accept and move on. Being stuck going over and over the same issue without ever being able to resolve it is frustrating and demoralising. For example “ I will never get over having a stroke- why me?” Learn to think “ I have survived my stroke , I am not perfect but I am going to improve”
- Set realistic goals– this gives you something to aim for and as you achieve each goal you can see progress.
- What is really important to you– things have changed and now is a good time to reflect on what your new priorities are.
- Reorganise– being organised will help to make tasks and problems easier.
- Get help– ask for help before you get to a crisis and the problem is lessened.