With National Stress Awareness Day (3rd Nov 2021) being so recent, I thought this was a good opportunity to talk about stress and managing stress.
As we know stress can have significant impacts on our physical health, this sometimes leading to difficulty in people realising where their symptoms come from. Mistaking them for a cold or illness or aches, rather than seeing the source of the problem. Below is an image with a few examples of how mental health impacts us as physical symptoms.
With each of us carrying stress in our own individual way, it can be hard to see when our friends, family or colleagues are feeling stressed. The more we understand and we talk about Mental Health and stress, the further we can move away from this stigma and idea that if you are stressed it is a negative part of you. It isn’t, work can be too busy, life can be hard, stuff happens and it’s OK to not be OK. Stress is everywhere and builds up in our bodies without the release we need to clear stress hormones and reset and recharge.
You could become more aware of your stress by noticing and writing down the signs you notice in yourself when you start to become stressed. This could be helpful and raise your awareness of your own stress levels and warning signs. We all know how we can ignore the signs, until we can’t keep going. The more mindful we become about how we present when stressed, the more we are able to stop and reach out for support or just slow down and breath.
Below is a Tedtalk (I love a Tedtalk – #stressbuster) about Mental Health in the workplace. Helping to consider how our workplace can affect us and reminding us all, we are not the only ones who struggle at times.
There is support out there for you, we have been through a lot in the past 18 months, on top of life and having to function and continue as normal.
The below link is for a resource from MIND, it’s a few years old, but still a handy document to take a look at. Sometimes just by reading through some information about stress it can help to raise awareness of how you manage and deal with your own stress.
There are many ways to manage stress that suit different people and protecting your holistic wellbeing is one of them. Considering all aspects of the mind and body. Whether you enjoy going for walks, to a yoga or Pilates class, lifting weights in a gym, socialising, spending time alone, spending time with pets, reading, learning something new, all these things can help to regulate your emotions, reduce stress hormones and bring you some peace. Self-care is key to helping to regulate emotions, rather than using these ideas when you are overwhelmed by stress, try to integrate these things into your life. Whether you start of doing them a couple times a week and built up to daily practices. Sometimes we feel there isn’t enough time in the day, so start with small steps, adding these in for 10-minute practices and maybe mixing them up to see what you feel really benefits you. It is not selfish to take care of yourself. It is essential.
So please, take care of you x x
Joanne Lawrence is a Counsellor, Yoga and Pilates Instructor at The Sangha House