Did you know the first Wednesday of November is stress awareness day?
Stress is a big part of a majority of people’s everyday lives (if it’s not in yours well then this might not be super helpful for you.) I think stress can be a negative and positive thing. I know sometimes if I get stressed, but not overly stressed… I get shit done and am hyper-focused which is a positive thing, but if I get overly stressed… I can’t focus on one thing and can kind of feel like the world is on fire. Can you relate?
The thing about stress is everyone handles it differently, everyone’s body reacts differently, and everyone’s perception of it is different. For me, when someone says they’re stressed, I like to respond with empathy because I don’t know exactly how they are feeling. I try not to offer solutions or solve the problem for them, I try to just listen… but sometimes I’m sure I give my opinion even though I try not to.
Over the last few years, my life has become exponentially more stressful, but also more fulfilling. Since my life has become more stressful, I have had to find ways to deal with the stress.
If I am stressed because I have to do something, I like to ask myself a few questions. Why am I stressed about this? Do I even want to do this? Is this something that is going to positively contribute to my life? If I answer no to both of the last questions, I don’t do it. I like to think about stress from the simplest standpoint and the same comes with dealing with it. If I decide not to do something, I just try to be super honest with whomever and say I’m not coming because it’s not something I want to do or something that is suitable for me at this time. I made a deal with myself at the beginning of 2020 to stop doing things I didn’t want to do, and it alleviated a lot of stress BUT I’m sure made some people mad. I would like to hope that I gained some respect from people when I was straight up about not wanting to do something.
Another stress factor for me is work. Work, in general, can be stressful. When I get stressed, I try to shift my perspective. I try to find whatever is causing me stress and find something about it to be grateful for. Example: Initial stress: “Oh my gosh, I have so much to do.” Perspective change: “I am so grateful I have so much to do and am such an essential employee.” If I’m super stressed about something with work, I’ll sit down and journal my stress away and end with positive affirmations to make sure I am in a positive headspace. I will even take 5-10 deep breaths to really cleanse myself of the stress I’m feeling.
I have found it’s important to find a stress reliever that does not cause any harm and isn’t very expensive. For me, that is working out or cooking, or sometimes it’s reading or a feel-good movie or show on Netflix; something that can take me away from my stress. Other great options are video games, going for a walk, talking on the phone, cleaning, movement of any kind, really anything you can enjoy that will benefit you.
It’s so important to acknowledge when we are feeling stressed, almost just say hi to it, but do whatever you can to make sure that stress doesn’t rule you and your decisions. I hope some of my tips help you with any of the stress you’re dealing with.
I would love to know how you handle stress!