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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Managing Stress In Those Very Hard Times

As mother's we lead busy daily lives , no matter what you do in life there seems to be some sort of stress related to it anymore. I have a hard time saying no, thus increasing my stress level even more. I have learned that my body starts to send me signals when my stress is getting out of control. Learning to recognize these signals has helped me overcome some very stressful events in my life.

Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Stress can be positive (such as planning for new baby's arrival) or negative (such as dealing with the death of a parent or other loved one).

Symptoms of Stress

Common reactions to a stressful event include:

  • --Disbelief and shock
  • 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
  • Nightmares and recurring thoughts about the event
  • Anger
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs
  • Sadness and other symptoms of depression
  • Feeling powerless
  • Crying
  • Sleep problems
  • Headaches, back pains, and stomach problems
  • Trouble concentrating

Tips for Self-Care

The best ways to manage stress in hard times are through 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-- even just taking a walk everyday will do wonders
    • Get plenty of sleep-- take naps
    • 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—volunteer, help others that are needy, focus your energies toward something positive, staying positive helps your mind focus on the positive in life instead of the negatives. Get outside and smell the flowers, the crisp fall air or the stillness of winter.


 

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