Well, are you?
As I write this on a rainy Wednesday afternoon, I can tell you that I’m stressed. About what? My mind can’t seem to decide between impending deadlines, social commitments I can’t get out of, and the dire need for sleep. All the thoughts in my head at this point are screaming and the noise just doesn’t seem to go away – not even when I eat three chocolate chip cookies in a row.
Hey, stress eating is a thing.
Stress is a state of mind most of us are familiar with; we hear it used colloquially, in almost everyday conversations, no doubt because it’s something virtually everyone has experienced. More often than not, we tend to overlook the different manifestations of stress and underestimate the effects of this emotional issue.
This April, we recognise and acknowledge Stress Awareness Month.
I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t think stress needed a month of its own (because who doesn’t know what stress is?) but after reading through a couple of papers – boy, am I wrong.
To sum it up, here are some statistics all in one place for you (because you know I’m not about to make you read four paragraphs of numbers, no way):
In light of Stress Awareness Month, here are three simple things you can do (now and for the foreseeable future) to raise awareness and help destress the distressed.
It really doesn’t get talked about enough. We often brush stress off as a passing phase, but if left unmanaged, stress can turn long-term and chronic – not only does it then put a strain on your mental health, physical repercussions will soon follow.
Talking about stress reiterates its potential detrimental effects and raises awareness of its symptoms. Having an open conversation about stressors (i.e. life events, changes) and managing them can not only help yourself but the person you’re speaking to too.
2. Share your coping strategies
It could be something really simple: going for a walk, stepping away from the computer, drinking an extra glass of water. Or, it could be something a little heavier: lowering expectations, setting new boundaries, taking responsibility.
If it’s worked for you, it might work for someone else too. Not only does it allow you for an opportunity to talk about your feelings, it also opens up intentional and honest conversations.
I say this all the time, really, it’s become a personal motivation now to share this well-intended propaganda of mine. We’re all facing and experiencing stress and anxieties in our lives, it’s really simple common courtesy to treat others with compassion and empathy.
I’m no saint – I still have to correct my thoughts when I hear someone complain about the most menial of things. But to be honest, it could be menial to me and a huge deal to them and I’d never know. Understanding the presence of differing perspectives and life experiences helps me keep my judgements reserved, no matter how loud they are in my mind.
That’s all I have for you today.
Thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.