Hi everyone 🙂
Today I wanted to talk about something that is present in everyone’s lives at some point or another and that many people struggle to deal with – stress.
There are many things that can cause you stress such as being behind on school work, dealing with relationship issues or problems in a friendship. No matter what the cause is, there is something you should always do to avoid it getting the better of you, and that is by talking to someone about how you’re feeling.
Even if you aren’t the best at expressing your feelings, talking to someone or just outwardly expressing how you feel in a healthy manner is beneficial. From personal experience I have found out the hard way that bottling up emotions and stress is unhealthy and can cause more problems in the long run.
Stress can affect you both emotionally and physically so it’s important to try and recognise these symptoms so you can act on how you’re feeling. Emotional symptoms include:
- Becoming easily irritated or moody
- Feeling overwhelmed in general
- Not being able to relax
- Low self-esteem
- Isolating yourself
The physical symptoms of stress are:
- Low energy
- Tense muscles (general aching pains)
- Not being able to sleep
- Feeling nervous (shaky)
If the stress you’re feeling is prolonged then you may eventually see yourself and your behaviour changing, here are some of the behavioural changes you may experience:
- Change in appetite (loss or gain)
- Avoiding responsibilities (procrastinating)
- Nervous behaviour (nail biting, pacing, fidgeting in general)
You may even see the mental effects of stress, such as:
- Constant worrying
- Inability to focus
- Being pessimistic
If you experience any of this then I would advise you to express your feelings to someone in your life, however if you don’t feel comfortable doing this or aren’t able to then these next steps might be a better option for you!
I know that everyone reading this is probably groaning right now, and to be fair I would as well. However, a lot of the time doing some form of physical activity can take your mind off of things going on in your life as you are putting all your energy into doing this activity and completing it. Simply going for a walk or jog or run can increase your mood and help to relieve any stress you are experiencing.
If you regularly experience stress then you could try to incorporate some form of physical into your daily routine to keep you on track and help fight any stress you may be feeling.
Getting more sleep
I realise that stress can disturb your sleeping patterns and cause lack of sleep, however you can try to avoid this by simply trying to relax yourself as much as possible before trying to get to sleep. Avoid anything sugary or caffeine related before bed as this won’t help you when trying to sleep, I would suggest turning your bedroom into a calm and soothing environment and maybe using some soothing lavender incense as lavender is meant to calm and relax you.
Personally, I use a ‘sleep spray’ before going to bed as this calms me down and makes me kinda sleepy. I use the Sleep Serenity Pillow Mist Spray by Avon. The spray itself contains camomile which has soothing properties and can make you slightly sleepy/drowsy and lavender which can aid restlessness, stress and sleep loss.
Writing your feelings down
I would also recommend writing down when you felt stressed, what situation you were in, who you were with and what helped to reduce the stress as this could help you figure out what causes your stress and what situations you may feel stressed in to see if there is a pattern that you can end.
I have personally found this technique to be extremely helpful as it showed me what triggered any feelings of stress so that I could remove myself from future situations that would cause me to feel like this. But a lot of the time you can’t necessarily remove yourself from a situation if you get stressed at school and during exam season, although you should definitely schedule time for relaxation and time to see your friends as forcing yourself to work isn’t healthy and won’t benefit your learning in any way.
If your stress stems from having a lot to do in little time, then I would advise you to create some sort of schedule or game-plan, this will help you to divide up whatever work you have to do so that you aren’t looking at a 20ft long to do list.
If you struggle with keeping time during assignments or projects then creating a schedule before beginning any work will help you to keep on track with your work and you will most likely feel a sense of achievement when you are ticking off each task one by one! You could even reward yourself each time that you do, as this will create a healthy mindset in that slowly but surely getting tasks done is rewarding for yourself.
Also prioritising the more important tasks is a very handy thing to do, so that you aren’t leaving a very important piece of work until the last minute!!
If you are being physically affected by the symptoms of stress then my best piece of advice for you is to take time to rest, as I previously mentioned, forcing yourself to work or do chores or complete goals on a to do list when you are ill is a bad idea because you will eventually over-exert yourself and cause yourself to feel more ill.
If you overwork yourself then this will just become an unhealthy cycle, where you may end up having to seek out professional help for dealing with stress. Giving yourself time to come to terms with things and relax (if you can) will help your body recover much faster.
As someone who has personally had to deal with a lot of stress very recently, I speak from experience in saying that these methods are useful and can help you. If these methods aren’t for you then I would recommend doing further research or seeking professional help before anything serious develops from it.
I do hope that this has helped you if you are experiencing any of these feelings or symptoms!