Stress can sometimes feel overwhelming but there are things you can do to help.

Build yourself an action plan and develop your resilience so that you can face stressful situations without feeling overwhelmed.

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Steps to develop your resilience

Making time to develop your resilience will help you manage stress better. Select the things you think will work best for you, build your list, print it out or email it for later use.

  • Read our guide to resilience

    If you haven’t yet read our guide to resilience it might be useful to do this first. By understanding what resilience is and why it’s so important you’re more likely to take action to develop yours.
  • Make time to have fun

    Book a regular slot in your diary to have fun. You might wonder what having fun has to do with resilience, but laughter has been shown to help you reduce your stress while making you feel more positive about life. And both these things contribute to your resilience.

    So watch a funny movie, have a coffee with someone who makes you smile, listen to a comic on the radio. It really doesn't matter what you do as long as you do something.

  • Learn how to relax

    Relaxation can help you to de-stress, so learning how to trigger your body’s relaxation response adds another skill to your resilience toolkit. Even if you think you have a good idea about what helps you relax we recommend you take a moment to learn and practice a few techniques.

    How to learn to relax

  • Take steps to improve your sleep

    Learn good sleep habits to give yourself the best chance of a good night's sleep.

    Making sure you get enough good quality sleep is an essential part of maintaining your resilience. Good sleep can improve low mood and reduce stress but also help you think more clearly, have more energy, and feel better about life.

    How to get a better nights sleep

  • Build your social network

    Having a group of people you believe you can depend on makes you more confident you can manage. This isn’t always easy, and things do get in the way, but if you want to develop your support network you need to take action, even if it seems a hard thing to do.

    Set specific, but realistic, steps and stick to them:

    • I will speak to someone new every day
    • I will sign up for a class (dance, art, gym, learning…)
    • I will go out with friends or family once a week – and don’t cancel
    • I will volunteer for something I really care about
    • I won’t use my phone to avoid speaking to people when I’m out

    Having a network of people you can call upon will go a long way to helping you feel more confident when dealing with things that make you uncomfortable.

Your action plan

When you've added things to your action plan, you can print it out, or email it to yourself then start checking off the things you have done, or come back and add more.