Healthy stress can be a positive thing and motivate us to perform well. When it is too much it tips over into unhealthy stress and can cause symptoms on the physical, emotional and/or mental level. It can affect our sleep and our energy levels. It can affect our mood and our ability to maintain a balanced outlook on life. Stress can trigger an inflammatory response in the body leading to symptoms in the skin, digestion and bowel among others. It’s not limited to adults. Teenagers (exams, peer pressure, bullying) and children (changing schools, loss of friends, bullying) can feel stressed too.
Even when we are doing all we can to help ourselves de-stress, we may still need help. There are various Homeopathic remedies of long standing, traditionally associated with different sorts of stress and various causes. They are non habit forming and don’t produce withdrawal symptoms.
Signs of stress can be a change in behaviour such as increased irritability, lack of patience, flying off the handle. Or it can be a change in the ability to make a decision, to motivate ourselves to do something, or affect our socialability. It can lead to increased anxiety. It’s a common ailment seen in a Homeopathic clinic that people are looking for help with.
Experts agree that exercise in itself can be a help as it releases “happy hormones” called endorphins that flood the system and help relax us. 20 minutes walking can make a difference and if you can choose somewhere nice to walk, then even better. Cycling, swimming, jogging, playing sports, gardening, are all great if you can get the time to do it regularly – if not, then walk! Its free and doesn’t take much organisation or specialist gear.
New parents and working parents are juggling their former life with a new born/older children on less sleep and (very little!) personal time and it can feel like there is not enough hours in the day. Ease up on your standards and don’t sweat the small stuff. Get out and about with your children doing something they and you enjoy rather than worrying about the state of the house. Who on their death bed ever said, I should have cleaned more!
A tip I learned from my mother was to swap children with a friend. She and her friend used to swap for an afternoon which gave them a chance to get out on their own (I try and imagine what having eight young children regularly in your house is like!). I was lucky that I was able to take a leaf out of her book and me and my friend used to swap our children one afternoon a week. It meant I was guaranteed a few hours where I could go to the hardware shop, dentist, the hair dresser, whatever I wanted to do, without looking after children at the same time. They had more fun playing with their friends and I found it a life saver.
Meet up with a friend and have a chat even if you don’t feel much like socialising. Just getting out of your own space can help. Talking about what’s bothering you or having a laugh about nothing in particular can relieve stress. Sometimes listening to another’s problems can help put ours in a different light.
Read more here for tips to help stress management from the HSE.