I hope you are well and enjoying eating lots of Easter eggs!
For this week’s blog post I wanted to chat to you about stress. April is Stress Awareness Month, and I think it is something we all get or suffer from at some point in our lives. I am one of those people who has suffered badly from stress as I didn’t seek the help I needed or do anything to try and reduce it.
People can find themselves getting stress over anything and everything from a big change in their life, work, family or feeling a lack of control. A little bit of stress may be good for some as it can push you towards reaching that target or goal, however too much stress can be unhealthy.
From a young age, I have always had a problem with stress. I especially struggled when it came to school and when feeling overwhelmed. As I got older I felt it a great deal more. My stomach would tighten, my heart would race and my head would feel as if it was on full speed with my thoughts going all over the place.
When it came to having exams at school from the age of 11 I found myself getting more and more stressed about them. As I got older and those summer exams turned into GCSEs I became very over stressed and very ill as a result. I became lethargic and run down as the stress took over, the symptoms I had previously experienced were much much worse, more frequent and headaches and dizziness were added to the list. I was soon told I had Glandular Fever as a result of my stress levels being so high and had to miss a lot of school (which didn’t help). Unsure of what to do, my stress levels became out of control and I ended up in hospital for a few days, even sitting my science GCSE whilst I was there. As I reached college and began doing my A Levels, my stress soon turned to anxiety. It was at this point when I knew something had to be done.
I always felt I was being silly and stupid when I got stressed or anxious, but I just couldn’t help it. It became part of who I am. However, I have learned that it’s okay to feel stressed sometimes as long as it is managed and doesn’t get out of control. I still get stressed every now and then, and sometimes it is to the point where I feel my old symptoms of tiredness, headaches and anxiety, however I have learned different ways to deal with it and help reduce my stress levels which in turn helps reduce my anxiety and other symptoms. Some methods include:
- Chatting to someone – this can be a family member, friend, teacher, tutor or even your pet! It is sometimes a great help just to let it out and get things off your chest.
- Write a list – This is probably my biggest and most useful tip after chatting to someone. I have found that by writing all the things I need to do or that are stressing me out is a good way to get it out of your head and actually see what those things are. You may find it is a lot less than you first thought!
- Go to the gym – I have been trying to get back into the gym for a while now, as I have found that going is a good way to let out stress by pushing yourself and getting all that anger and frustration out on the treadmill. If your gym has a steam room or Jacuzzi I recommend spending a few minutes in each as this also helps calm my nerves and helps me relax.
- Relax – This sounds easier said than done but it does help. Things such as having a bath or listening to some calming music has helped me de-stress. You can check out my post with relaxation tips here: http://blog.ucb.ac.uk/index.php/2017/11/10/relaxation-tips/
With deadlines soon approaching, I would highly recommend you try some of these things if you do feel yourself getting stressed. Remember, you are not being silly and you are not on your own.