Stress Management

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Shout out if you hate stress! I do! I hate being stressed out. Life is pretty much like a rollercoaster ride: too many twists and turns, ups and downs. Those twists and turns are enough to make you sick (literally) at times. But remember that life is hard and it will always be that way, and stress management is not only important for your body but for your mental health!

I’ve been stressed over many things: the first day of school, what outfit should I wear today, what do I do on a first date, living expenses, the cost of tuition, landing a job in the real world, and so forth. I’ve pretty much ticked off my inner “Fight or Flight” off way too many times because of stress. Somedays, I will stress over the smallest things. Why? I don’t know. My brain is notorious for ticking me off. Some of my recent stressors are work, my possible sleep apnea (not officially diagnosed just yet!), and finances. Some days at work, I tend to look like this:

Young beautiful stressed businesswoman screaming at laptop

FYI, I don’t sit at a computer all day especially at Starbucks. But this pretty much is the face I make when I’m under stress at work and this is how I looked when I used to take finals in college. Although my face was a lot more red and steam came out of my ears, but you get the picture. I also look this when I have to deal with my prescription refills. I hate getting refills on my anti-anxiety medications because for one, it’s a controlled substance and secondly, it has to have the doctor’s approval for it to be refilled. And you have no idea how much it angers me when I don’t get my refill when I ask for it. I’ve had to call the doctors office and verbally lecture them about how this medication is vital for me in order to survive. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications aren’t like cough syrup, people who need these medications need these in order to stay sane. So if I have to call the doctor for a refill, I except the receptionists get it over to the pharmacy quickly because they know that I’m one of those patients with very little patience for laziness. It’s not that hard for a receptionist to go get the doctor’s approval for a refill and send it over to the pharmacy to be filled.

At some point in our lives, we experience STRESS and how you handle it is different for everyone. I’m some what of a “worry wart” but not as bad as my mother. She always goes to the “worst case scenario” when it comes to things. For example, if she has a cold than she’ll immediately assume that it’s pneumonia when it’s not.

I experienced some of the worst stress in my life during my college years, my doctor told me about stress management. The affects of stress really take a toll on your body. You can weaken your immune system, you can put yourself at risk for heart attack, strokes, and other life threatening diseases. When my body is stressed, typically, I will be sick to my stomach. Stress does horrendous things to my stomach to where I get so nauseous to actually throw up and/or get diarrhea. Sorry to be TMI there, but it’s the truth. Most likely, this will occur at work. Great isn’t it! You’re at work and then immediately have to run to the nearest restroom because stress is causing you to be sick. Been there!

I’ve had stress so bad that I have had chest pains, high blood pressure, heart palpitations (when your heart is beating so fast out of your chest), felt lightheaded and dizzy, upset stomach and the list goes on. See how much fun stress is! So during my “very bad blue” periods, I would talk one on one with my doctor about managing stress in a healthy way.

A lot of doctors will share their tips for stress management such as deep breathing, sit down and catch your breath, eat healthy, drink your water, and above all, RELAX. Since, I know a lot of people who experience stress on a daily basis (who doesn’t have stress!?!?), I was able to get all the information on tips and tricks and found some that worked for me.

Some of the tips & tricks that I use are:

  • Relaxation either with soothing music or taking a shower
  • Write out my feelings in a journal
  • Breathing exercises
  • Watch TV or a read a book
  • Turn off all devices and shut out the world for a while
  • Get my 8 hours of sleep and a very short 60 minute nap
  • Cut out foods and drinks that are unhealthy and caffeinated

If you find yourself stressed or under the gun, it’s best to identify what is causing your stress. Are you stressed about work, family, finances, school, or whatever is going on in your life? If you’re stressed, then find ways to treat your stress with whatever remedy works for you. Above all take care of yourself and seek help if you need it.

stress affects.jpgIt doesn’t hurt to check out stress affects your body! As far as skin, I don’t get any problems such as acne or rashes. I do get stomach issues like acid reflux (thank you stress!), weight problems and nausea. I’m already overweight so I haven’t yet been diagnosed with diabetes. But pretty much everything else in the picture above, I’ve been there! It sucks and is no fun.

One of the things that I want to do if I have time and the money to afford it, is to do a stress test. I genuinely, would like to know how my body and heart does if I did one of those cardiac stress tests where you’re on a treadmill and your vitals are being monitored. I would find this interesting and I know stress tests take a few hours to do because both my parents have had this done.

Always remember that you are not alone! Every experiences stress on a daily basis. I do! But take a deep breath, relax and always tell yourself that “You are OK and that everything will be OK.” Always think positive!

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