Stress…

I apologize to all my loyal followers for the delay in my blog postings.
This Monday we buried my grandfather, may he rest in peace.  And then Tuesday my grandmother (his wife) was put into the ICU with some pretty major health issues.  Needless to say it has been a very stressful and upsetting time so I didn’t really feel like blogging.
However, I am feeling more like myself again and was missing all of you so here I am! 🙂

So today I want to touch on the topic of stress.  We all have it, there is no escaping it…stress is part of life.  Stress can be good or it can be bad and it affects all aspects of your life, especially your health and wellness.  Weddings, babies, work, vacations, relationships, illness, death, etc. all create stress.  The most important thing is how you deal with it…what are your stress management techniques?  How are your coping skills?

First step is to recognize that you are experiencing stess.  Determine how the stress is affecting you…what are you symptoms? 
Are you experiencing any of the following:
– Fatigue
– Anxiety/Nervousness
– Shaking
– Loss of appetite (or the opposite…cravings/binge eating)
– Headaches
– Nausea
– Aches and Pains
– Insomnia
– Forgetfulness
– Lack of focus
– Irritability/Moodiness
….this list could go on forever! 🙂  Check out more symptoms of stress on the webmd site: http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-symptoms-effects_of-stress-on-the-body.

So now the important part…how to cope.  What do you do once you recognize that you are indeed experiencing stress and you identify what symptoms you are experiencing from that stress? 
This is the part where things get tricky and there is no “right answer” so to speak.  This is because everybody is different and the way that works best for one person may only cause more stress for somebody else.  So you must look into yourself to determine what will work best for you.  Look through the following examples of coping techniques and see what works for you.
Some examples of coping techniques are:
– Exercise/Activity
– Reading
– Journaling/Writing
– Talk to somebody (friend, family member, therapist, doctor, coworker, etc.)
– Take a relaxing bath
– Sleep
– Do something you enjoy (gardening, scrapbooking, dancing, etc.)
– Let your emotions show (laugh, cry, express your anger, etc.)…just DON’T bottle these feelings up or ignore them.  They will NOT just go away if you ignore them.  You must acknowledge and deal with the emotions you are feeling.
– Meditate
– Watch a favorite movie
– Listen to your favorite music
…Again, this list could go on and on and on!
Find more information on stress coping techniques and a list of healthy and unhealthy coping activities at the Helpguide website: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/stress_management_relief_coping.htm.

The most important thing is to acknowledge your stress and find a healthy way to deal with it.  The one thing that is most damaging is to ignore your stress or to fall into unhealthy or unsafe ways to cope with it, such as engaging in promiscuous behavior or turning to drugs or alcohol.

Enjoy your Friday and make this weekend a spectacular one!
Wishing you all a low-stress day today! 🙂

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