Something I learned the hard way is – it’s time to relax when you don’t have the time.
But what if we don’t listen to our body?
If we continue slowly burning the candle at both ends until we reach physical and emogotional exhaustion? Just like the candle itself – we burn out “Stress has become one of the most serious health issues of the 20th century and a worldwide epidemic.”
. What is stress?
Stress is the “psychological, physiological and behavioural response by an individual when they perceive a lack of equilibrium between the demands placed upon them and their ability to meet those demands, which, over a period of time, leads to ill-health”
Tips to manage stress:-
- Understand your stress
How do you stress? This can be different for everybody. By understanding what stress looks like for you, you can be better prepared and reach for your stress management toolbox when needed.
- Identify your stress sources
What causes you to be stressed? Be it work, family, change or any of the other potential thousand triggers.
- Learn to recognize stress signals
We all process stress differently so it’s important to be aware of your individual stress symptoms. What are your internal alarm bells? Low tolerance, headaches, stomach pains or a combination from the above‘Symptoms of stress’
- Recognize your stress strategies
What is your go-to tactic for calming down? These can be behaviors learned over years and sometimes aren’t the healthy option. For example, self-medicating with alcohol or overeating.
- Implement healthy stress management strategies
It’s good to be mindful of any current unhealthy coping behaviors so you can switch them out for a healthy option. For example, if overeating is your current go to, you could practice meditation instead, or make a decision to phone a friend to chat through your situation. The American Psychological Association suggest that switching out one behavior at a time is most effective in creating positive change.
- Make self-care a priority
When we make time for ourselves, we put our well-being before others. While this can feel selfish to start, like the old plane analogy we must put our own oxygen mask on before we can help others. This is also true for effective stress management. The simplest things that promote well-being, such as enough sleep, food, downtime, and exercise are often the ones overlooked. Make time for you.
- Ask for support when needed
If you’re feeling overwhelmed reach out to a friend or family member you are comfortable talking to. Speaking with a healthcare professional is also an effective way of reducing stress, learning new strategies and preventing burnout.