Stress can hit anyone, at any moment and when you least expect it. Prolonged periods of stress can affect your health, relationships, work and the ability to cope with just about anything in life. Self-care and support are crucial.
I ran a business for 20 years and found that positive stress can sometimes be a good thing. In the workplace, it helped launch the business into new and bigger things, accomplish projects and grow the business.
However, stress can be harmful when it is severe enough to make you feel constantly overwhelmed.
The Center for Decease Control (CDC) lists the following symptoms of Stress to watch for:
- Tension and irritability
- Fear and anxiety about the future
- Difficulty making decisions
- Being numb to one’s feelings
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Loss of appetite
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
- Sadness and other symptoms of depression
- Feeling powerless
- Sleep problems
- Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
- Trouble concentrating
CDC’s recommended tips for self-care
Avoid drugs and alcohol. They may seem to be a temporary fix to feel better, but in the long run they can create more problems and add to your stress—instead of take it away.
Find support. Seek help from a partner, family member, friend, counselor, doctor, or clergyperson. Having a sympathetic, listening ear and sharing about your problems and stress really can lighten the burden.
Connect socially. After a stressful event, it is easy isolate yourself. Make sure that you are spending time with loved ones. Consider planning fun activities with your partner, children, or friends.
Take care of yourself.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep
- Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out—for example, treat yourself to a therapeutic massage
- Maintain a normal routine
Stay active. You can take your mind off your problems by giving— helping a neighbor, volunteering in the community, even taking the dog on a long walk. These can be positive ways to channel your feelings.
At Salt Sky, we want all our readers to stay healthy. If you are feeling the stresses that come along with life, you are not alone. Take a minute and make a plan to take care of yourself today.