Stress & Strategies

Lately I've been under tremendous stress. It’s taken a toll on me in various ways. I used to pride myself on not really being stressed, or handling it really well. Well I have definitely not been handling it well lately. I’ve been dealing with so much personally, that I haven’t been doing certain things for my self care, or even my care.

Stress affects us in so many ways. We don’t realize just how stress can impact us physiologically, or even our mood. Let’s take a look at each category!

Here’s a list of the effects I've noticed stress can have:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Change in sex drive
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleep problems

Stress and our bodies

This is a list of things we’ve probably experienced at some point in time due to stress. We may not have realized just how the stress was impacting our bodies. I know lately I’ve struggled with sleep problems. I’m having trouble falling and staying asleep. Last week i was averaging about 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Not nearly enough! This has also affected my chronic hives and it’s sending me into a flare up, and making me so itchy!

So how have I noticed stress can affect moods? Well let's take a look at that:

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression

Who knew stress could affect these? I know we may have thought a few of them, but so many? I’ve been dealing with high anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed, which is a never ending cycle when you’re dealing with high stress. I’ve perhaps been a tad more irritable. I’ve also been dealing with overthinking, to the point it’s affecting various relationships in my life.

So how do we help minimize the effects of stress? We help by learning coping techniques. By practicing self care. It’s important to learn ways to cope with stress. Let’s look at some strategies.

Tips for stress

Stress management strategies I think are helpful:

  • Getting regular physical activity
  • Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or massage
  • Keeping a sense of humor
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Setting aside time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music

For me, I’ve started taking evening walks. I put my earbuds in, play some music and walk, and consciously let go of the stress. Feel it melt off of me with each step I take. I also take time to read a book, or two. Even a bath at night can help. I make it a point to destress, or at least try to daily.

These techniques and effects of stress aren’t just for those with chronic hives, but for everyone. I think it’s important to have some go-to stress management strategies. What are some of yours?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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