Stress is a word that we throw around all the time – but do we always know how to spot it? Stress wears many masks, and often it’s difficult to tell who’s stressed and who’s serene.
Experiencing stress for prolonged periods of time can have a serious negative impact on your mental and physical health, so it’s worth watching out for the red flags and dealing with it sooner rather than later.
You don’t have time for anything
For yoga. For friends. For eating. For anything!! Stress traps us in a cycle of feeling pressured, but being less productive. So while we may feel like working that extra hour will reduce stress because you get stuff done, you’re actually more likely to work slowly and make more mistakes when you’re tired (which leads to more stress later).
You’re soooo tired
Even though you have had 10 hours of sleep a night, you just cannot let go of that morning coffee. Fatigue is not normal, and having to rely on caffeine to get you going often goes hand in hand with a stressful routine. Cut the caffeine (I mean, not altogether – we’re not that savage) and turn to water when you’re thirsty. Yes, the first week will be hell. But you’ll feel better next week.
You get ill more than once a month
Your body is a wonderful thing – not doing the right job? Boom! Have a head-cold. Trying to make something work that isn’t meant to be? Bang! Upset tummy. Your body is a barometer for how you’re feeling. Don’t ignore illness – it’s often a red flag for something that’s not quite right in your life.
You need a drink
If you’re finding it hard to relax without a substance being involved, you can be sure as heck that your stress levels are off the chart. By all means, we are not advising giving up your Friday merlot (the horror), but be aware if it’s becoming the only way you can relax. What’s so scary about relaxing with just you and your thoughts?
You feel old
Aches and pains, general health complaints, dull skin – stress can be the common factor in all of these things, and often lead to more stress themselves! Get yourself to a doctor but make sure you don’t go in with a self-diagnosis from WebMD. Describe your lifestyle, habits and symptoms to make sure that you can eliminate any other causes, and respect what the doctors says. You need time off? You need time off!
Watch out for our tips on how to deal with stress coming soon! Hint – one of them is yoga.