Let’s talk about stress. Something we have undoubtedly all experienced at some time in our lives, sometimes we can be prepared for a stressful time and prepare for it, other times it creeps up on us like an unwanted gift from the universe. Regardless of how and when we experience it, dealing with it can be tough. May 14-20th is Mental Health Awareness Week and with stress being such an issue nowadays due to the fast pace of life that everyone seems to be living it can be a major player in affecting our mental health.
Here are some of the most common warning signals that you might be stressed:
Lack Of Sleep: Restless nights and constant waking during the night is a sign that your brain can’t switch off, possibly due to stress related situations.
Bad Skin: We seem to forget that the skin is an organ and is also super sensitive to cortisol or the ‘stress hormone’. This is why we tend to break out when we’re stressed because our skin can’t quite combat the amount of cortisol it has to deal with. Combined with a lack of sleep and other symptoms it’s no wonder really.
Headaches: Sometimes due to dehydration so make sure you’re always filled up with H2O. Headaches are also a little pain signal telling you to take a minute and chill out for a bit.
Burn Out: This is most common in young people who feel social pressure to over achieve or conform to what society tells them. This is probably most worrying in terms of future generations, people burning out before the age of 30 is dangerous and potentially life threatening.
If you can relate to one or more of the above symptoms then don’t worry, you are in fact more ‘normal’ than you realise. Being stressed can make you feel isolated and as if no one else understands what you’re going through but actually in 2016-17 12.5 million working days were lost due to work related stress, depression and anxiety so you’re actually not unique if you’re feeling the same and should find comfort in the fact that others are feeling exactly the same.
How to deal with it:
Friendship: Sounds obvious but surround yourself with those who will support you and accept you for who and what you stand for.
Rest: It sounds obvious but so often we feel guilty for taking a rest which could in fact be he cure to a lot of our stresses.
HALT: The acronym that stands for Hungry, Angry/Anxious, Lonely, Tired. Ask yourself if you feel any of these when you’re stressed and it could help you combat it.
Exercise: We’re going to be biased here and say that this is our number 1 remedy for dealing with stress, but moving and getting the blood flowing can be a great way to deal with stress. Not only does it shift your focus so you can’t think or worry about what is on your mind but it releases the feel good hormone and can help minimise any negativity you might feel. If you’re feeling stressed right now, try this video, we’re pretty sure it’ll put a smile on your face and relieve some stress.
Tense & Release: Good old fashion stress ball technique. If you don’t have one to hand then clenching your fist and releasing can help, especially if you visualise any stresses dissolving away clearing your mind and allowing you to be uplifted.
Research from Lee Pycroft, a trained Strategic Intervention Coach. For help and information on dealing with Mental Health issues, check out the following website for free online help.
If you’re in the UK and need to speak to someone, call the Samaritans hotline available 24/2 on 116 123