Have you ever been in an overwhelming situation, with deadlines approaching and a neverending to-do list, and you’re just in way over your head? You’re not alone… Everyone experiences some type of stress, whether it’s everyday stresses of jobs and family (which is the most common) or of sudden changes in routine, such as job change, illness or divorce. However, the most concerning is traumatic stress, such as major illness, an accident, or the tragic death of a loved one.
Since 1992, April is Stress Awareness Month to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. A little bit of stress is not necessarily bad, but too much can be detrimental to our emotional and physical health. It’s important to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we recognise when stress rears its ugly head – it’s a normal part of human existence, but nobody is immune to it.
Unfortunately, stress is one of our time’s significant health challenges, but it still isn’t being taken seriously as physical health concerns. Individuals handle stress in many different ways, but some symptoms may still surface, such as headaches, insomnia, digestive issues and anger. Prolonged stress could result in heart disease, immune system problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, but could also lead to anxiety and depression.
This month, recognise the difference between good and bad stress and try to find your happiness within the madness.
The 30 Day Challenge
2021’s theme is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’. Due to Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020, people have been more stressed, and the three causes for concern are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control. Therefore, the theme to carry out one action of physical, mental or emotional wellbeing each day. These 30-day actions will then turn into habits and maximise your chances of turning practical knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.
What Else Can You Do?
- Practice meditation: Learn how to silence your mind with one of the most popular methods – meditation to achieve quietness.
- Exercise: Exercising gets endorphins pumping through your brain, which triggers a happy feeling. Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones like cortisol and releases chemicals that make you feel more at peace.
- Talk: Talk openly and freely about the topic and its effects with friends, family and colleagues.
- Share: Share your coping mechanisms with others – it might benefit them too!
- Be nice: Show compassion and empathy to those suffering from stress and anxiety – you might need it too someday.
- Natural supplements: To help you feel more at ease, try natural remedies like lemon balm, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea, and essential oils.
- Take a deep breath: Create a relaxing atmosphere by lighting a candle, putting on soft, soothing music, dimming the lights and counting your blessings.
- Reduce caffeine: Even though it’s tough to kick coffee, caffeine tends to make us jittery, which can cause stress and anxiety.
- Laugh a little: Even when you don’t feel like it, carve out some time to spend doing something you enjoy that will make you laugh. Spending quality time with family and friends or simply watching your favourite show can often be just the distraction you need. Making some time for fun is an integral part of your overall health.
- Visit your doctor: If none of the above seems to help, doctors are really in the best position to get you started on the path to a stress-free lifestyle. Make an appointment today.
Take care, learn to say no to requests that are too much, and keep your health, Sandton.