Stress Management

Signs of Stress

Stress occurs when we’re unable to cope with extra demands on our health, energy, emotions or thoughts.

Stress Can Show Up In a Number of Ways

PHYSICAL

Tiredness, unable to rest, relax, sleep, increased tendency to illness. Dizziness, palpitations, shakes, difficulty in breathing, choking in the throat and chest, nausea, diarrhoea, muscular tension which may lead to: Pain – e.g. headaches, neck & backaches, menstrual disorders, change in sexual interest. Numbness, things seem unreal, in a dream.

HABITS

Increased smoking, drinking or eating, craving for salt, sweets etc

SOCIAL

Irritability or intolerance. Not wanting to be with people or not wanting to be alone, or not getting on well with people anymore.

THOUGHTS

Poor concentration, no mental energy, can’t think clearly, poor decision making, planning, forgetfulness.

EMOTIONS

Changeable feelings, unusually strong emotions, numbness, becoming sad or apprehensive without reason, loss of interest in things.

When YOU notice signs like these in YOURSELF, this is your body’s way of saying “you’re exhausted” STOP NOW!! Reassess before you no longer have the strength to cope.

People under STRESS are often so busy coping with the CAUSES of the stress. Rarely do you not notice the STRESS BUILDING UP.

Coping with Stress

DON’T bottle up feelings.
DO express your emotions and let your children share in problems.
DON’T avoid talking about what is happening.
DO discuss the problem with others.
DON’T isolate yourself from other individuals and groups.
DO accept support off people who care.
DON’T say bad things about yourself.
DO look after yourself—diet, sleep, time out, exercise and relaxation.
DO take time to be with your close family and friends.
DO express your needs clearly and honestly to family, friends and those in helping professions.
DO let your children talk to you and others about their emotions. Encourage younger children to express themselves in games and drawings.
DO explain to your children why expenditure is being cut back—they will cope!!
DO try and let your family keep up with their activities as much as possible.
DO play sports.
DO drive more carefully.
DO be more careful working and around the home.
DO be aware that accidents are more common during and after severe stress.
DO remember—laughter is as good as a dose of medicine!

Preventing Stress Build-Up

AWARENESS

You need to respond to your body’s messages, take time out to relax when it tells you to, not when it’s too late.

RELAXATION

Seek a technique to suit yourself.

REALITY

Confront the reality and try to think things through. Get outside assistance, talking to others can help sort things out and get an objective view that puts things into perspective.

COMING TO TERMS WITH THE SITUATION

Concentrate on things you may be able to control – don’t dwell on problems out of your control.

PRIVACY

In order to deal with feelings, you will find it necessary at times to be alone, or just with family and close friends. DO NOT isolate yourself or your family from contact with others, this will only make things worse in the long term.

ACTIVITY & RECREATION

Be active- to help and give to others may give relief—however don’t divert attention for help you may need yourself.

Do not neglect normal sport and recreation. Regular exercise promotes health and wellbeing and will help you cope with stress.

EASY STEPS TO RELAXATION

Carry out twice daily
  1. Give yourself permission to put all worries out of your mind
  2. Sit comfortably in a quiet room
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Relax your muscles systematically; beginning with your feet and working your way slowly up your body to your face – RELAX
  5. Now. Repeat the word “one” to yourself each time you breathe OUT!

After ten minutes, stop and slowly come out of your state of relaxation.