Stress can affect everyone, at all stages and walks of life. Whether the school pupil / student feeling the pressure and strain of exams and deciding what to do with the rest of their lives; the professional with numerous work deadlines; the parent not knowing which way to turn; the family with financial pressures and relationship problems; an endless list.
Stress isn’t all bad. In fact, a bit of stress or pressure can be a good thing. It can help focus the mind, get us in the ‘doing’ stage rather than the ‘maybe’ stage. If we are honest with ourselves, how many of us are able to finish a piece of work, or a project, without the looming pressure of a deadline? Without a bit of pressure, the majority of us would find ourselves meandering through life at a snails pace, spending hours on social media, watching TV, reading books, sleeping….However, if ‘a bit’ becomes ‘a lot’ it ceases to be a good thing.
So what causes this overwhelming state that can cause so much disruption to our lives? The answer is a lot of things can depending what else is happening for you at the time. Some common triggers often associated with causing stress are:
- Project / Coursework deadlines
- Driving tests
- Problems at home
- Financial problems
- Moving house
- Family changes (new children, divorce, new relationships)
It affects people in different ways, and the list is almost endless – there is no one symptom that defines stress. Some examples include
- Triggers other health problems – weaker immune system, stomach problems, skin conditions, unexplained aches and pains
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
- loss of appetite
- mood changes
- Increased anxiety and irritability
- feeling tired all the time / difficulty waking up in the morning
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of interest in activities
So how can we manage our lives to keep stress in the right doses? Below are 9 tips to keep the stressors of life at bay;
- Sleep – allow time to unwind properly before trying to sleep, avoid stimulation before going to bed (caffeinated drinks), no work in your bed!
- Exercising will help you relax, unwind and keep you healthy.
- Healthy eating. In particular avoid too much caffeine and sugars.
- Get organised. Prioritise what needs doing and be clear when it needs to be done by.
- Say No. It is ok to say that you don’t have the time or space to do something at the moment.
- Support from friends and family. This can be in all shapes and sizes – talking about it, helping put your coping mechanisms in place, or simply having fun!
- Make time for you – doing things that are important to you.
- Find ways to relax. Reading, a warm bath, exercise/sport, seeing friends, watching films. Explore different relaxation techniques or complementary therapies.
- Laughter. Laughing releases ‘feel good’ hormones and helps us to relax.
If the pressures of life have become overwhelming and following the tips above have not alleviated the strain, coaching could be a positive way forward for you. A coach will work with you to identify the problems areas and together you will find the perfect solution for you. Coaching helps people regain control of their lives, get a sense of clarity and plan a positive way forward.
‘Every week, at the end of each session, I plan to make a small and manageable change. It is amazing how big these changes become and how much of a real and ongoing difference they make to me’
To find out more please contact me