We all must deal with stress at work but, left unchecked stress can cause not only mental but physical harm to your wellbeing.
Trouble sleeping | Moodiness | not feeling yourself | headaches |chest pains | dizziness | racing heart | eating too much/too little | short temper | blurred vision | difficulty concentrating | sleepy | angry.
Sound familiar? These are all signs of stress.
If left untreated stress festers and can turn into physical symptoms, not all we easily recognise as stress related. Stress can affect your blood pressure, can create heart problems, as well as rapid fluctuation in moods.
Most do not need telling when they are stressed but may need direction on how to deal with it in the workplace.
There are many ways to deal with stress, some better than others, but it is always advisable to speak to someone you trust. It is time to see your doctor when you feel constantly worked up and/or if you develop physical signs such as tightening of the chest and trouble sleeping.
Common symptoms of stress include;
Tension and irritability / Fear and anxiety about the future / Difficulty making decisions / Feeling numb / Loss of interest in normal activities / Loss of appetite / Nightmares / Anger / Increased use of alcohol and drugs / Sadness / symptoms of depression / Feeling powerless / Crying / Sleep problems / Headaches/ back pains/ stomach problems / Trouble concentrating.
Top tips for self-care:
Often the best way to manage stress is to take time for yourself and indulge in a little self-care.
- Avoid the use of drugs and alcohol:
They may seem tempting or as a quick fix but in the long run, they can create more problems and increase your stress levels.
- Seek Support:
Talk to people, be it your partner, a friend, college, counsellor, doctor, therapist, anyone you feel you can trust. Having someone there with whom you can openly talk to and share can really lighten the load.
- Connect socially:
After a stressful event, it can be all to easy to isolate yourself. Make sure you are spending time with those around you. Perhaps consider planning an activity or a meet-up.
- Take care of yourself:
Ensure that you remain hydrated and eat a balanced diet. Regular exercise and rest-including sleep will help you feel better about yourself. Go for a relaxing massage as this will not only help you unwind but will also help with muscle tension.
- Keep to your routine:
A key factor in self-care is having a routine. Ensure you go to bed and get up around the same times, eat at regular intervals and allow yourself time to relax before bed in the evening. Remember routines do not have to be set in stone.
- Stay active:
Exercise is not only good for you physically but mentally too. This does not mean hitting the gym like you never have before, it can be in the form of going for a walk or spending the weekend helping a friend out. These are positive ways of coping with stress and burning off those negative feelings.