Been feeling like “even your tired is tired?”
Who isn’t? It is a sign of the times and “stressed” is a common word that is bandied about with regard to all aspects of our lives.
Even children who are supposed to be happy and carefree are “stressed out” at school, due to bullying or peer pressure, or inherited stress from parents. Medics and psychologists lay the blame on diets, professions and lifestyle choices. Some of us are burned out from attempting to do “too much”, over compensating and it has taken its toll on us. Stress is inevitable. Just that word stress makes me feel stressed out, that is why now I personally prefer to say “overwhelmed”. Sounds much better than that ugly word.
For the masses though, these past years has yielded a populace of stressed out individuals. Is society expecting too much from us or are we expecting too much ourselves? Is that that we have to constantly keep up with trends?
Stress is basically a disruption in the routine to our daily lives. Put a spanner in the works of our daily existence and there is a hurdle in our way, the smooth flow of life will be interrupted and who deals well with change? Although necessary for growth, the thought of change or disruption to routines can give sleepless nights as the security of routine has been tampered with. With age comes added responsibilities and worries, in my case, eg, death of a loved one and I have lost many loved ones and I fear, I will never completely recover from those emotional setbacks. Add to the equation, a bullying miserable Head of Department at work, new work responsibilities AND a relocation of work, which involved a hectic daily commute, I became depressed, which led to medical assistance and medication which played havoc on my senses and has upset the my equilibrium in many ways. Yes, my life was disrupted and I paid for it emotionally and physically as “stress” manifested itself. Ideally, one should be weaned off anti-depressants but fed up with the emotional roller coaster, I tossed the medication cold and managed.
Stress has been linked to diseases, including heart disease and the dreaded cancer. We need to identify the stress factors, eliminate and learn to deal with stressful situations in a healthy way. Self-medicating is not the answer neither is prescription drugs. One needs to go within to determine ways to cope with stress. Once you have identified the source of your stress, then determine how the situation is to be handled. If stricken health-wise by a debilitating disease, seek the best course of medical aid. That pesky work colleague? Human Resources conveniently removed themselves from the situation? Don’t kill him with your kindness or punish him with your silence whilst inwardly fuming. Remember that it takes all types to make up this world. Realise that you control your emotions and your reactions. Choose to control your reaction to the situation. Leave that work problem at work as best as emotionally possible. Sadly, some people delight in creating mischief and upsetting people.
Some of the stressors you will be able to control, others you will not be able to do. Recognise yourself doing the following?
- Kids are involved in far too many activities. Can’t catch up with the play dates schedule?
- Running around too much? Shopping daily?
- Kids living off fast food?
- Feeling guilty when you find a quiet moment?
- Counting the days until extra tuition finishes?
Some ways to alleviate the stress :
- First step, breathe. Through the mouth and out the nose. Tell yourself to breathe deeply, count to 10 in-between.
- Talk to someone knowledgeable about mediation, shift your focus.
- Find a yoga group, meet new people, create a new circle of fresh minds
- Mall crawl or window shop without your credit cards. Keep enough for a treat.
- Count from ten backwards, it not only helps for calming, it centres yourself.
- Consider massage therapy. MUCH better than doing damage control later at a physiotherapist.
- Adopt a pet, feel the loyalty and love of a furry friend, it’s a cathartic process.
- Cannot put your finger on the problem, invest in a diary, write it down, commit it to yourself, analyse and benefit.
- Volunteer your skills to the underprivileged. You WILL be grateful for all that you have.
- Fix your diet, remember your water and take the stairs, whenever possible.
- Break free. Freddie Mercury had the right idea. Maybe go on a LSD trip. No that trip! A Look, See, Discover (road?) trip will open your eyes and your soul.
- Love yourself. Do not berate yourself harshly, nourish your thoughts,
- Look towards natural cures but make it a mission to alleviate your stress.
Self-induced stress is another factor altogether. Teach the kids to cook a meal. If they are able to handle technology with such savvy, it follows that they are capable of following a cooking recipe. Bulk buy on online, it saves you the hassle of screaming kids in tow as well as it is cheaper. Invest in a freezer and ask the kids to familiarise themselves with the contents. My son used to be adept at finding the hidden ice-cream. He is now adept at preparing meals. Carpool for tuition. Whatever you do, however you do it, make it work for YOU! Love yourself enough to give yourself a break, be it binge-watching your favourite sitcom or disappearing with the family for an impromptu picnic.
Involved in a toxic relationship? Extricate yourself from the situation. How? Simple. Place priority on quality of life. Move out, move on, allow yourself to heal and yes, love again. It IS possible.
When I am overwhelmed, I often find myself in the kitchen searching for treats to “emotionally heal” me. Look for and stock up with the following food mood enhancers :
- Brazil nuts (minus the chocolate coating) as a treat;
- Salmon which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids;
- Sea foods that are high in Vitamin B12;
- Spinach for its folic acid increases serotonin.
Speak to your pharmacist, get a good multi-vitamin. Ideally exercise, it’s the most effective way to kill stress as it gets the heart pumping and raise your serotonin levels. If you are like me and find exercising tiresome, get physical. Scrub, wash or garden and feel the burn and accomplishment of a tidy house or kitchen. Certainly, if one is at an acutely depressed, stressful, burned out stage, then medication may be necessary. Seek treatment only if you absolutely have to but remember that you are the master of your destiny. Do you seriously want to leave your fate in the hands of the pharmaceutical mills to help keep the medicinal mill flowing?
Start however, as you mean to go on. Go natural. Don’t let stress eat away at your precious body and life. Your body IS the temple, the vessel that nurtures your soul. It is not a rubbish bin to allow fettered thoughts and toxins. Release that, send it out to the universe. Let Go, Let God. Worrying serves no purpose other than destroying oneself. Relinquish that worry and leave it in God’s capable hands. With His grace, favour and plan, all will unravel itself. Perhaps, this should not be said in this same thread but let Karma do its job for the oxygen thieves and criminals.
Do not say stressed. Say overwhelmed.
Remove that word from your vocabulary, adjust the mindset and go forth confidently.