Cover Image
close this book Forestry training manual for the Africa region
View the document Acknowledgements
View the document Trainee guidelines
Open this folder and view contents Training program overview
Open this folder and view contents Conducting the training program
Open this folder and view contents Presenting the sessions
View the document Words about transition
View the document Session 1 : Welcome, expectations, and evaluation criteria
View the document Session 2 : Special projects
View the document Session 3 : The forests of the world, peace corps' forestry goals, the individual volunteer's role
View the document Session 4 : Record keeping - group process
View the document Session 5 : Video tapes
View the document Session 6 : Agro-forestry data collection
View the document Session 7 : Feedback
View the document Session 8 : Flowers, seeds, the beginning
View the document Session 9 : Nutrition
View the document Session 10 : Non-verbal communication
View the document Session 11 : Germination
View the document Session 12 : Coping skills
View the document Session 13 : Basic site selection, planning & layout of a nursery
View the document Session 14 : Review of trainees' nursery plan
View the document Session 15 communication through illustration
View the document Session 16 : Soil preparation, seedbed sowing
View the document Session 17 : Individual interviews
View the document Session 18 : Reproduction by clippings and nursery review
View the document Session 19 : Introduction to extension
View the document Session 20 : Protection and record keeping (Insect collection)
View the document Session 20A : Chicken preparation
View the document Session 21 : The volunteers' role as an extensionist
View the document Session 22 : Tropical horticulture: care, tending and disease control
View the document Session 23 : Women in development - part I
View the document Session 24 : Team building
View the document Session 25 : Building and using a rustic transit
View the document Session 26 : Women in development - part II
View the document Session 27 : Working with groups as an extension worker
View the document Session 28 : Trees: identification & planting
View the document Session 29 : Lesson plan and use of visual aids in teaching
View the document Session 30 : The ugly American
View the document Session 31 : Catchments - sowing of seedlings into catchments
View the document Session 32 : Weekly interview
View the document Session 33 : Agro-forestry
View the document Session 34 : Community analysis introduction
View the document Session 35 : Soils
View the document Session 36 : Community analysis
View the document Session 37 : Irrigation
View the document Session 38 : Review of expectations - mid-way
View the document Session 39 : Problem analysis
View the document Session 40 : Soil erosion
View the document Session 41 : Species report - research demonstration
View the document Session 42 : Cultural values
View the document Session 43 : Wellbeing
View the document Session 44 : Field trip overview
View the document Session 45 : Agro-forestry reports
View the document Session 46 : Weekly interview
View the document Session 47 : Leave on week-long field trip
View the document Session 48 : Pesticides
View the document Session 49 : Review of field trips
View the document Session 50 : Resources
View the document Session 51 : Area measurement, pacing, compass use
View the document Session 52 : Compost heap - greenhouse construction - germination percentage
View the document Session 53 : Culture shock
View the document Session 54 : Range management
View the document Session 55 : Grafting and fruit trees
View the document Session 56 : Professional approaches to interaction with host country officials
View the document Session 57 : Project planning: goal setting
View the document Session 58 : Final interviews
View the document Session 59 : Ecology teams presentations
View the document Session 60 : Graduation

Session 43 : Wellbeing

Total time 50 minutes

Goals

- To enable the trainees to realize that they are responsible for their wellbeing as Volunteers,

- To introduce the topic of stress and its effects on our wellbeing,

- To have the trainees identify ways how they can alleviate/eliminate stress.

Overview

In this session the trainees are asked to read the article "Plain Talk about Handling Stress", by the National Institute of Mental Health. They are then asked to list some concrete ways that they could handle stress as a Volunteer.

Exercise

1. Living with Stress

Materials

Article "Plain Talk About Handling Stress."

Exercise 1 Living with Stress

Procedures

Activities

1. The trainer distributes the article "Plain Talk About Handling Stress" and asks the trainees to read the article.

Time

15 minutes

Activities

2. The trainer asks the participants what one thing impressed them about the article and records their statements on newsprint. The trainer emphasizes that stress is one of the major con tributing factors to illness and that awareness leads to prevention.

Time

5 minutes

Activities

3. The trainer asks the small groups to take the "ten points for living with stress" and plan a strategy for using each point to their advantage as a Volunteer. He/she lists the strategies on newsprint. If the trainees can think of other points, they should also list them.

Time

20 minutes

Activities

4. The small groups report back to the large group.

Time

5 minutes

Activities

5. The trainer points out the importance of recording these strategies in their journals and referring to them from time to time. Living and working in a new cultural environment will be stressful but by dealing with the stress they will be able to turn stress into a positive force in their Volunteer service.

Time

5 minutes

plain talk about...

handling stress

You need stress in your life! Does that surprise you? Perhaps so, but it is quite true. Without stress, life would be dull and unexciting. Stress adds flavor, challenge, and opportunity to life. Too much stress, however, can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. A major challenge in this stress-filled world of today is to make the stress in your life work for you [...] of against you.

Stress is with us all the time. It comes from mental or emotional activity and physical activity. It is unique and personal to each of us. So personal, in fact, that what may be relaxing to one person may be stressful to another. For example, if you're a busy executive who likes to keep busy all the time, "taking it easy" at the beach on a beautiful day may feel extremely frustrating, nonproductive, and upsetting. You may be emotionally distressed from "doing nothing." Too much emotional stress can cause physical illness such as high blood pressure, ulcers, or even heart disease; physical stress from work or exercise is not likely to cause such ailments. The truth is that physical exercise can help you to relax and to handle your mental or emotional stress.

Hans Selye, M.D., a recognized expert in the field, has defined stress as a "non-specific response of the body to a demand." The important issue is learning how our bodies respond to these demands. When stress becomes prolonged or particularly frustrating, it can become harmful—causing distress or "bad stress." Recognizing the early signs of distress and then doing something about them can make an important difference in the quality of your life, and may actually influence your survival.

REACTING TO STRESS

To use stress in a positive way and prevent it from becoming distress, you should become aware of your own reactions to stressful events. The body responds to stress by going through three stages: /1) alarm, (2) resistance, and (3) exhaustion.

Let's take the example of a typical, commuter in rush-hour traffic. If a car suddenly pulls our in front of him, his initial alarm reaction may include fear of an accident, anger at the driver who committed the action, and general frustration. His body may respond in the alarm stage by releasing hormones into the bloodstream which cause his face to flush, perspiration to form, his stomach to have a sinking feeling, and his arms and legs to tighten. The next stage is resistance, in which the body repairs damage caused by the stress. If the stress of driving continues with repeated close calls or traffic jams, however, his body will not have time to make repairs. He may become so conditioned to expect potential problems when he drives that he tightens up at the beginning of each commuting day. Eventually, he may even develop one of the diseases of stress, such as migraine headaches, high blood pressure, backaches. or insomnia. While it is impossible to live completely free of stress and distress, it is possible to prevent some distress as well as to minimize its impact when it can't be avoided.

[...] INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH

Session of Scientific and Public Information - Plain Talk Series - Ruth Kay, Editor

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES -

Public Health Service - Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration

5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20857

HELPING YOURSELF

When stress does occur, it is important to recognize and deal with it. Here are some suggestions for ways to handle stress. As you begin to understand more about how stress affects you as an individual, you will come up with your own ideas of helping to ease the tensions.

Try physical activity. When you are nervous, angry, or upset, release the pressures through exercise or physical activity. Running, walking, playing tennis, or working in your garden are just some of the activities you might try. Physical exercise will relieve that "up tight" feeling, relax you, and turn the frowns into smiles. Remember, your body and your mind work together.

Share your stress. it helps to talk to someone about your concerns and worries. Perhaps a friend, family member, teacher, or counselor can help you see your problem in a different light. If you feel your problem is serious, you might seek professional help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker. Knowing when to ask for help may avoid more serious problems later.

Know your limits. If a problem is beyond your control and cannot be changed at the moment, don't fight the situation. Learn to accept what is—for now—until such time when you can change it.

Take core of yourself. You are special. Get enough rest and eat well. If you are irritable and tense from lack of sleep or if you are not eating correctly, you will have less ability to deal with stressful situations. If stress repeatedly keeps you from sleeping, you should ask your doctor for help.

Make time for fun. Schedule time for both work and recreation. Play can be just as important to your wellbeing as work; you need a break from your daily routine to just relax and have fun.

Be a participant. One way to keep from getting bored, sad, and lonely is to go where it's all happening. Sitting alone can make you feel frustrated. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, get involved and become a participant. Offer your services in neighborhood or volunteer organizations. Help yourself by helping other people. Get involved in the world and the people around you, and you'll find they will be attracted to you. You're on your way to making new friends and enjoying new activities.

Check off your tasks. Trying to take care of everything at once can seem overwhelming, and, as a result, you may not accomplish anything. Instead, make a list of what tasks you have to do, then do one at a time, checking them off as they're completed. Give priority to the most important ones and do those first.

Must you always be right? Do other people upset you—particularly when they don't do things your way? Try cooperation instead of confrontation; it's better than fighting and always being "right." A little give and take on both sides will reduce the strain and make you both feel more comfortable.

It's o.k. to cry. A good cry can be a healthy way to bring relief to your anxiety, and it might even prevent a headache or other physical consequence. Take some deep breaths; they also release ensign.

Create a quiet scene. You can't always run away, but you can "dream the impossible dream." A quiet country scene painted mentally, or on canvas, can take you out of the turmoil of a stresst situation. Change the scene by reading a good book or playing beautiful music to create a sense of peace and tranquility.

Avoid self-medication. Although you can use drugs to relieve stress temporarily, drugs do not remove the conditions that caused the stress in the first place. Drugs, in fact, may be habit-forming and create more stress than they take away. They should be taken only on the advice of your doctor.

THE ART OF RELAXATION

The best strategy for avoiding stress is to learn how to relax. Unfortunately, many people try to relax at the same pace that they lead the rest of their lives. For a while, tune out your worries about time, productivity, and "doing right." You will find satisfaction in just being, without striving. Find activities that give you pleasure and that are good for your mental and physical wellbeing. Forget about always winning. Focus on relaxation, enjoyment, and health. Be good to yourself.

Written by Louis E. Kopolow, M.D.

YOU MAY REPRODUCE THIS DOCUMENT FREELY, IN ANY QUANTITY YOU WISH.

DHHS Publication No. (ADM) 83-502

Printed 1977, Revised 1983

GPO: 1983 0 - 409-949