Episode7 Segment 1 - How can you plan for challenging situations?
Fast Fact 1
You can predict challenging situations
Fast Fact 2
You can be alert to warning signs that show you may not be coping
Fast Fact 3
Coping Plans help you deal with challenging situations
Predicting challenging situations
On any journey, it is important to try to look ahead and plan for possible challenging or difficult situations. Predicting a difficult situation is the first step to making it easier to manage. Challenges are easier to face and cope with if you are not caught by surprise.
There are usually warning signs when things are a little off track. For people with chronic pain, this might mean that daily activities and coping become harder to achieve. Some people might notice that they become grumpy or angry at the slightest thing. Other people might stay in their room and avoid family members. Tension and feelings of stress or anxiety might also be noticed. If you learn to know your own warning signs, then you can act quickly to pick yourself back up and continue on with your life.
Warning signs help you know there is a problem. The next step is to identify the problem and possible causes. Use your support network to help problem solve the issues and solutions. A Flare Up Plan will come in handy here, as will a coping plan.
You can use your knowledge of warning signs and things that are challenging for you to ‘have a go’. You can learn from each experience, the good and not so good, and use this knowledge to manage the next challenge.
A Coping Plan sets out strategies you can use to help you stay on track for the predicted and unpredicted situations. It helps you to list the strategies and put a plan of action into place so you can cope with potentially challenging situations.
It is useful to list the specific coping strategies and helpful thoughts you will use:
- Before going into the challenging situation
- During the challenging situation
- After the challenging situation
Coping Plan Example
Listed below is an example of a Coping Plan.
Notice how Alex plans strategies and thoughts before, during, and after the challenging situation.
Alex's Coping Plan
Before the Event
I can take breaks.
If I sit down and do my relaxation exercises, I won't get too sore.
It will be fun to do some shopping with my friends.
During the Event
I can use muscle relaxation exercises.
After the Event
It was nice to have lunch together afterwards.
It was helpful taking my relaxation break, but next time I should take it a bit earlier.