International Stress Week 1-5 November 2021

International Stress Week 1-5 November 2021

Stress can be different for each person. What makes you stressed might not necessarily make the person next to you stressed the same way. For me, I have always been a bit of a stress head - sorry Husband! I often wonder whether it’s because of living with a chronic illness and the stress it creates physically which over spills into the mind.
According to Mind:
There's no medical definition of stress, and health care professionals often disagree over whether stress is the cause of problems or the result of them. This can make it difficult for you to work out what causes your feelings of stress, or how to deal with them. But whatever your personal definition of stress is, it's likely that you can learn to manage your stress better by:
    • managing external pressures, so stressful situations don't seem to happen to you quite so often
    • developing your emotional resilience, so you're better at coping with tough situations when they do happen and don't feel quite so stressed 
I can certainly say if I have too much to do or something uncertain happening it triggers me to feel anxious, feel nauseous and sometimes get the shakes. I try and do some of the follow the alleviate it and remind myself that the feeling will pass. Here are some things I find helpful:
Talk to a friend
An obvious one yet arguably the most important, talking. To anyone in fact. When things get too much and I can’t get in contact with someone I send them a voice note. Just getting everything off your chest may do you the world of good or can even make you realise it may be the right time to seek professional help. Friends and family can help identify triggers where you can’t, and view things from a different perspective. Whatever you are feeling it is valid. If you want to talk to someone you do not know you can try: 

Samaritans - Ring 116 123
Give us a shout - Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258
Helpline directory lists approved members of Helplines Partnership providing support via various channels which can be found here
Selfcare pamper session 

More superficial than the others yet for me it certainly helps. After I had my surgery and I took some time to accept my new body the way it had to function so differently, I decided to get my nails done regularly. Its not everyones thing but for me if I’m having a moment of self doubt I can look at my nails which makes me smile. I always go for something different and its a bit of time for me and escapism going to get them done very 3 weeks. A little bit of luxury in whatever price bracket you can afford is something we all deserve, least of all when we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It can be as simple as affording yourself the time to have a long bath, read that book you have been telling yourself you don’t have the time for or cooking yourself your favourite meal. Give yourself a little love. I have found calming sprays over the counter to be helpful too. They aren’t too pricey and nice and small to carry around with you. They are available for night time to aid you sleeping and times of stress and anxiety. 
This isn’t something that comes natural to me and I have to really try hard but it gives me the best feeling and the endorphins I need to get through a stressful day. Having found running again since my ostomy surgery last year it has become part of my weekly routine, getting out for a run 3 times a week. Finding a running buddy was a game changer too. If you fancy it, get asking those around you so you can socialise and get those endorphins. If running isn’t your bag any movement is good movement. Try new things and find what you like. I may be a dance class, a local Park Run, walking or a local boot camp. Have a goal in mind and something to aim for that’s achievable such as trying something new and doing it for a certain amount of time.
List making and a tidy environment 

I have always believed that a tidy environment helps keep a tidy mind. When I come downstairs in the morning if everything was put in its rightful place and things are ready to get the ball rolling in the morning, straight away I am ready to attack the day. If I left the washing up for example it puts me out of whack and its a chore I don’t need when I’m still half asleep. Now I am not saying this is relevant for everyone but for me it certainly helps when the day has the potential to go down hill if I have had a poor nights sleep. Lists is another tool I swear by. Each week I write lists of tasks for each day and any phone calls I need to make. Each month I have short, medium and long term plans. The teacher in me loves it and the excuse to keep buying new stationary! The sense of accomplishment when I can tick something off is brilliant and seeing it all ticked off at the weekend allows me to enjoy family time and not stress about getting things done. Use this as a sign to go out and buy some pretty stationary and get list making! Mrs Hinch on Instagram has a range of list books that are beautifully made and a joy to use. Get them here

There are so many ways to elevate stress with lots of apps, books and social media outlets to tap into. If none of the above inspire you, take some time to find what does and build it into your routine. 
Take care, Rach x

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