1. a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
“she’s obviously under a lot of stress”
synonyms: strain, pressure, tension, nervous tension, worry, anxiety, nervousness; More
Have you ever felt unexplainable aches and pains in specific parts of your body? Or maybe tension around your neck and shoulders? Have you found yourself exhausted regardless of how much sleep you’ve had or maybe the opposite, have you found yourself to be exhausted but unable to sleep?
Lately I’ve experienced all the above and to top it off my arch nemesis the migraine has reared is ugly head again. I’ve had migraines since I was a child but during my pregnancy and nursing months I didn’t have any attacks and felt quite blessed. However since returning to work after 7 months of maternity leave, I’ve struggled to cope with the 5 day working week. Even a year on, I’m finding myself felling physically sick, my head is painful and I’m generally exhausted. The things that really help are relaxation and quiet calm. However the household is anything but quiet when you have a happy 20 month old in your midst.
I am grateful to have a job that pays well, that affords me pretty much most of the things I want. I work with some pretty talented and dedicated people and together with my personal ambitions they make each day bearable.
The only thing is that I’ve been unhappy with just ticking along for a while now. While pregnant the sensible choice was to set aside my ambition in favour of caring for my new family. Two years on though and I feel like I have nothing more to offer my current role. I’m constantly nervous that I’m not doing enough and the constant pressure of trying to meet goals that I’ve set myself, have begun to manifest more visibly in my recent bout of sickness. I’ve suffered from week-long debilitating migraines, one episode of which saw me keeled over on a public toilet floor calling for help and having to be pushed in a wheelchair to my father-in-laws car after he kindly picked me up and returned me home to rest.
I’ve also been gaining weight at an exponential rate and to the point where it’s hard to recognise myself in the mirror. How can I deduce this is all related to stress? I don’t want to be labelled weak or unfit to work but the classic symptoms of stress seem to be manifesting themselves in lots of different ways.
Here are my five top tips for overcoming stress. They are as much for me as they are for those of you reading this. It’s an inevitable thing that we’re all likely to go through at some point in our lives but it’s important to remember a few wise words: –
- Deal with the issue that is worrying you. No matter how tricky if is, your body is alerting you that it’s things are not OK and you are not to continue in the way you are.
- Remember that there are people who love and support you, all that’s needed is for you to ask them for help. They know you so oftentimes better than you know yourself and can advise and support you in whatever way you might need.
- Laugh more, play more, make your weekends and generally any personal time you have more about enjoyment and relaxation. Make the most of the time you have with your family and hold on to those moments when you start to feel stressed.
- Don’t over medicate. A headache or a migraine that lasts beyond a week can be a symptom of a bigger problem. If the medication is taken too often it can start to become your crutch and in itself can cause other undesired effects.
- Change is good, it’s scary but if it’s change that your body needs then do just that. Yes it does take courage however it’s courage like that which will overcome any stress in your life.
I hope this helps you in one way or the other. It’s definitely helping me to recognise the symptoms of stress and is my fo of therapy. Let’s make a stand and get rid of stress for food.
P.s. This post is probably ridden with typos as I’m writing it after 4 days with a bad head, so sorry readers, I did my best!