Hitting Rock Bottom + Tips To Help With Stress
It’s International Stress Awareness Week, with today being National Stress Awareness day. For this reason I wanted to share with you tips to help with stress, which I found really helpful after a very stressful time.
Most clients that come to me are usually feeling stressed/overwhelmed, especially this time of the year. The days seem shorter, it’s colder, darker, countdown to Christmas, family, work, LIFE! And the scary thing is though, that stress is a silent killer. We are so bombarded with everyday pressures that we don’t realise it until we actually hit rock bottom.
It’s not just about being busy, even not having enough work, activities or change in your life can be just as stressful a situation as having too much to deal with.
I want to share a very personal story, that I haven’t really talked about it so openly. A few years ago, I had hit rock bottom emotionally. There was a lot going on in my life but I just kept carrying on as if nothing had happened. One evening I remember experiencing a horrible sensation for the first time. My heart started pounding so loud, as if it were about to explode out of my chest. It was such a strange feeling that it completely scared me and took me off guard. I felt weak, ashamed and for me being such a private person, I felt vulnerable so I didn’t want to share that experience or what I was feeling with absolutely anyone. All my emotional stress was eating me away. I guess you could say I had a panic attack.
One day I finally opened up to somebody, and boy did the floodgates opened. I can’t explain what a relief it truly was. Already I felt so much better, by just finally talking about how I felt with someone. It was a very tough time for me; I had put on my brave mask for so long, it was my defence mechanism. It wasn’t doing me any good, and finally I felt free and so much lighter. From that day onwards I made a pact to always take care of myself and never let myself ever get to that point.
Stress can be both physical or/and emotional. It goes unchecked and can become overwhelming, leading to many health problems.
Most of the time we find ourselves in a constant worry, feeling overwhelmed for things that may not be that important, that we may have no control over or that are uncertain. We worry for situations where we have no idea of the outcome.
Here are a few tips that I wanted to share that have helped me keep on top of things
☆ Keep a Journal.
Writing down our thoughts and worries can be so beneficial to our state of mind. There’s something so therapeutic about letting go. I love writing everything down, from my thoughts to my to-do lists.
☆ Set Aside Time.
Set yourself at least 20 mins of ‘me time’ where you can re-group & reconnect. Practice on focusing on your breathing if you’re feeling out of sorts. Close your eyes, take a moment to stop, be aware of what is happening and take a deep breath. No matter how busy you are, you have 20 minutes to spare. Morning yoga really works wonders for me, even just a 15min stretch!
☆ Get Outdoors.
Walks & cycling are my go to! Make sure to get some fresh air! Being out in nature, focusing on your surroundings are all ways to give you that much needed head space.
☆ Look After Your Health.
Having a healthy mind & body will help you manage the sense of feeling overwhelmed. Eat well, drink plenty & get into an exercise habit. These are the starting points for a better you physically and mentally.
☆ Goodnights Sleep.
If you’re feeling super stressed then a good nights sleep will do wonders! Have that bath, relax before bed, light some candles, use essential oils, read… Give yourself time to wind down before going to bed. Avoid your phone before going to bed!
☆ Get Through Just One Day at a Time.
As the ancient words remind us: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
☆ Talk it Out.
Be open and talk about whatever it is bothering you. Honestly this is probably the most important point. Just by sharing how you are feeling, no matter how big or small it seems to you, can have a huge impact on your wellbeing. Whether it is with a friend, relative, colleague, therapist, life coach, anyone!
☆ Gratitude list.
Write down three things you are grateful for on a daily basis. Either morning or evening, whatever suits you. This will really help put perspective into your life.
☆ Cut Down Your Caffeine Intake.
When you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed then perhaps it would be best to cut down on caffeine. This is because caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels. Prolonged elevated levels of cortisol can lead to health problems and won’t calm those nerves. I’m not saying to give up totally but simply be aware and cut down a little.
☆ Do Something That You Enjoy
Whether it’s cooking, painting, dancing, photography, anything that helps you relax and de-stress. Take the time to do a passion of yours, it’ll be so beneficial to you and your mindset. Your inner self will thank you for it!
☆ No Phones First or Last Thing
Try and get into a habit of not using your phone first thing in the morning. Give it at least 30mins to an hour before you look at it. Our moods are usually decided if we start checking our phones first thing and we immediately feel anxious and overwhelmed. The same applies before going to bed. Avoid scrolling in bed before you sleep. You’ll feel less restless and I guarantee you, you will get a better night sleep.
Tell me, what small thing do you do, or can do everyday to help manage stress? I would love for you to share so we can help & inspire one another.
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