ALL have to deal with ways to deal with stress from time-to-time. Every day I work with people who have recognized that they can no longer do everything themselves. They are stressed, working long hours and they are no longer enjoying the perks of running their own business. But stress isn’t just limited to business owners… Mums, dads, teenagers, retired people, CEOs… anyone is susceptible to stress. So, what can you do about it?
Keep reading for some top tips on recognising the symptoms of stress and the importance of self-care.
Good Part of Ways to deal with Stress
Stress isn’t always a bad thing
Sometimes a little bit of stress is a good thing – the type of stress that induces adrenaline. This is the type of stress you might feel just before a network meeting, sitting an exam, when needing to meet a deadline or giving a talk, and the increased adrenaline/cortisol provides you with a boost of energy and heightened alertness, to hopefully help you perform better. This type of stress, if experienced occasionally, is unlikely to harm you.
Stress experienced on a regular basis can however sometimes lead to associated health conditions. Over a long period of time, increased cortisol levels can leave you vulnerable to autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular problems and diabetes. It can also affect your mental health, leading to sleep problems, anxiety, depression and demotivation (I know first-hand, having suffered from such mental health issues for many years). So, it’s important to tackle it.
The problem with stress is that we’re not all stressed by the same things. People tolerate different levels of stress and we all have different reactions to stress, so it’s all about focussing and understanding yourself. And unfortunately, we can’t always prevent stress, so in these situations, self-care is a priority.
Challenging Part of Ways to deal with Stress
Recognizing you are stressed
Sometimes stress can creep up on us and we don’t even realise that we might actually be quite stressed until something happens, or someone says something. Recognising symptoms of stress in yourself is a really great first step in dealing with it.
Stress.org is a useful resource, providing lots of information on what stress is, symptoms to look out for and even a stress test. There’s also a section on workplace stress, providing tips, information on legislation and a corporate wellbeing brochure.
Being able to anticipate stressful situations enables you to prepare yourself and build your resilience so that after a period of time, you might not have to prepare yourself the next time you are faced with a similar situation. Or if something stresses you out to the point that it makes you ill, you need to learn to say ‘No’ and not put yourself in that situation. Learning to say ‘No’ has seriously been life-changing for me.
“When you say ‘YES’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘NO’ to yourself” – Paulo Coelho
For some people, everyday stress is something they live with on a regular basis. This could be for several reasons including difficult personal circumstances, divorce, finances, losing a loved one or illness. Sometimes acceptance of the situation and allowing yourself to be okay with the fact that you can’t change your circumstance can help. Stressing over a stressful situation isn’t productive, and in these situations, self-care is of vital importance for different ways to deal with stress.
I love and loathe this term in equal measure. I think it’s overused and conjures up images of bath bombs, candles, and dressing gowns. I also think for some of us ‘self-care’ has connotations of self-indulgence, luxury, and time-wasting. And for those that are stressed, the thought of finding time to spend on themselves in an already busy diary can be difficult to accept and adjust to.
But self-care is what you make it and should be part of your daily, weekly or monthly routine. It can be simple things such as eating a healthy diet, drinking enough, ensuring you have half an hour each day to read your book, paint or work in the garden, or being more active, even if that just means going for a walk.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown
TripyCorp helped me understand the importance of self-care) has some really useful information on self-care including blogs covering self-care ideas on a budget, no-nonsense self-care ideas, and an a-z on self-care. If self-care is something you struggle with, please do go and check out their resources. The difference they have made to my mindset over the past few years has been positively life-enhancing ways to deal with stress.
Do you know someone that might benefit from self-care themselves? Perhaps you look after someone that needs to be guided down the self-care path. Suggesting an activity that you both enjoy is a great way to introduce them to the idea of self-care.
Try not to let stress control you
The simple fact is that our bodies are not designed to deal with stressful situations every day. We must either make changes or make the necessary adaptions to cope. Building resilience, understanding triggers and acceptance are all useful tools to learn, that can be used in other areas of our lives and not just stressful situations. Taking the time to understand what those are is the next step.
The goal is learning to understand that self-care is not selfish, but rather an important part of managing our physical, emotional and mental well-being. It’s so important not just for you, but for those around you, that you take care of yourself. You deserve to be happy!