Am I Stressed?

Let’s Talk Stress

Stress is a forever present force in life and one that seems to becoming more of a problem in our society as the pace of life increases. We live in a society where everything is real-time, instant…demanding of our constant attention and overwhelming with notifications, updates, pings, beeps and garbage.

No wonder we’re more stressed than ever. Being “conveniently” connected via our various electronic devices has us constantly receiving more information (factual or not) than we can keep up with. If we don’t, it catches up with us in the form of burn-out.

We are human. We can go when we need to, run that race, get things done, but we also need down-time to recover from the adrenaline rush of “being on” all the time.

Why Should I Read On?

Studies everywhere are showing the huge impact that stress has on our overall wellness. www.stress.org cites the following:

“Stress is the basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease.”

What Does This Mean to Me?

A few weekends back, I was taking a course to volunteer with Alberta Health Services and they covered a slide I felt everyone could benefit from seeing on stress and burn-out:

How often do you feel like this?

  • You have a strong urge to run and hide from responsibility
  • Your activity has become scattered and frantic
  • You’ve noticed major changes in eating habits and sleeping patterns
  • You’ve been more susceptible to colds
  • You are often irritable or easily angered
  • You have trouble concentrating
  • You are forgetting important details
  • You’re experiencing headaches

The above symptoms are potential symptoms associated with high levels of stress and burn-out.

What is burn-out?

It’s what happens when you take out more from your body’s “battery” than you deposit, like dipping into the “overdraft” in your bank account, except your body doesn’t have “overdraft”. When you push it too far for too long, that is when illness or worse can happen. Your body can take a lot, but when it’s had enough, it’s had enough (and “enough” most often means illness or death).

Your body is smart, capable and has the ability to heal itself to a large degree if we listen to the signals it’s sending. When it sends the signs (refer to list above), stop and replenish it on a regular basis; recharge that depleted battery.

What Does Replenishment Look Like?

  • Regular, solid sleep
  • Regular, nutrient-rich meals and water
  • Taking breaks
  • Playing – in whatever form appeals to you (expressing your creativity through art, dance, music, playing in the mud, exercise, golf, laughter). There is no one size-fits-all answer; this is unique to you as you are unique.
  • Give yourself permission for regular down-time, even if only a few minutes per day.
  • Meditate, walk, clear your mind and enjoy a moment or 10
  • Reiki and/or massage treatments
  • Taking a vacation (even a stay-cation)
  • Reducing some of the things that are producing stress in your life today, where you can.
  • Building healthy boundaries and saying “No” from time to time.

Those are just a few ideas to get you started. Replenishment and stress management are the “healthy” outlets for managing the tension and energy that is building up in your body.

But I Can’t Stop, People Depend On Me, I’ve Got Too Much To Do…

I get that, I’ve said that, I’ve believed that…until I didn’t have anything left to give. I was spent. I had no choice but to learn to care for myself.

You can take time to manage your health and you must from time to time. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t have anything left to give those who depend on you. You must make you a priority in your life.

Your future is your responsibility.

I don’t believe that there is a way to completely eliminate stress; stress is a natural part of the waves of life. We can learn to better manage our stress levels to help us navigate through life’s speed bumps and obstacles, while maintaining our wellness.

What is one thing you can adjust today to help reduce and/or manage the stress levels in your life?

I urge you, please identify just one simple tweak you could incorporate into your life and do it…for you.

You are important.

You matter.

Your health and wellness matters.

You have a limited number of days to live in your lifetime.

You must take care of yourself to live that life to its fullest.

With so much love & hugs I can barely contain myself,

Sherri-Lyn

Please let me know what you think!

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