Disability Related Stress

Coping with Disability Related Stress

Everyone has daily stress in their lives but the 43 million Americans with disabilities, their families, and friends are most likely to feel anxiety, fear, confusion, apprehension, frustration, anger, and fatigue.

There are three different types of stress;

  • person related stress (age,relationships, coping skills, interests, ect.),
  • disability-related stress(health, the age of onset, coping skills, pain and energy, the stability of the environment, visibility of environment), and,
  • environment-related stress( exclusion/isolation, lack of services, media coverage, medications, poor economics, unemployment).

There are short term and long term ways to cope with stress.

  1. Short term stress reduction only takes a few seconds, hours, days, and weeks to do to alleviate stress. Some ways to alleviate short term stress are exercising, cooking, daydreaming, meditation, singing, smiling, telephone talks, travel, writing, storytelling, laughter joking, and hugging among many others. 
  2. Long-term stress reduction takes weeks, months, or years to do. Some of the things you can do to alleviate long-term stress is: counseling, close relationships, exercise regularly, empowerment, mentoring, moving, hobbies, respite, socializing, peer assistance, friendships, advocacy, friendships, family involvement, self-determination skills, and support resource coordination skills.

When you reach a stressful situation,

  • stop and ask yourself if worrying about the situation is going to change the outcome,
  • if its a person take a break from that person,
  • take five minutes to walk away from a situation and do some deep breathing,
  • find a friend to confide in,
  • write in a journal.

Those are some ways you can alleviate the stress right then so it doesn’t consume your day.

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Family Network of Disabilities