How are you dealing with your stress?

How are your emotional reserves? Checking in with yourself to see where you’re at and how you’re doing can be helpful. It can show you where you need extra support.

In fact, health experts insist that supports will help increase our capacity to move through difficult situations. For people who are used to taking care of other people, simply hearing they’re going to be okay can be incredibly powerful.

Research also shows that when people are taking care of themselves and feel supported in moving through a difficult time, their post-incident symptoms are reduced and they’re less likely to reach for a drink.

“When dealing with stress, it’s everything in moderation,” Jarrin cautions about coping behaviours. “You know it’s a dependency when you need it.”

That can run from things like having a soda or coffee to alcohol and drugs – and there’s a continuum from occasional behaviours and needing behaviours or substances to function.  

“If your learned behaviour is when I feel bad, I do x to feel better…and doing x may not be an effective coping mechanism, it doesn’t matter what the substance is, it’s maladaptive coping. Drugs and alcohol may help you be comfortably numb but they will also will impair your judgement,” she says.