The following column is a new monthly column appearing in Valley News in Rosthern. The hope is that it will address some of the everyday stressors that most people face at some point in life as well as provide information on a variety of mental health concerns. Thank-you to our rural  Mental Health & Addiction Services staff for allowing us to share this with our Region Reporter readers. This month’s topic is on coping.

A young woman practising yoga

Helpful strategies for coping include meditation, yoga and deep breathing

Coping is our ability to handle life’s stress and challenges. Many things affect our ability to cope such as the number of challenges we are facing, how intense and long-lasting they are, our support system, outlook and how we learned to handle stress in the past.

Often the times we need to bolster our coping ability are when we have the least amount of energy and motivation to do so. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, going back to the basics can be very helpful. This includes exercise as appropriate for each individual, sufficient sleep, a healthy diet (resisting that comfort food), cultivating a philosophical attitude and having a trusted person to talk with.

Other helpful strategies include meditation, yoga and deep breathing. Maintaining hobbies and interests is also important so that life’s problems do not consume all our time and attention.

None of these efforts will make problems go away. They will however help reduce some of the physical and emotional wear and tear we go through when under pressure.

Many of us also get overloaded because we have a difficult time saying “no”. This can come from a heightened sense of personal responsibility or the fear of not being liked if limits are set. If you are one of these people you may benefit from learning assertive communication and boundary setting. For more information on mental health, to see a counselor or make a recommendation for future articles, please contact Community Services in Rosthern (306) 232-6001 or Wakaw (306) 233-4363.