Hello beautiful people!
I’m going to jump right in today! Lately I’ve started to realize the enormous effect stress has on my body. I’m used to being in stressful situations and still having to perform at full capacity, as many of the rest of you are, so I often don’t actually notice when I become highly stressed.
As time has gone by, however, I started paying closer attention to what my body was doing in these situations, and that has turned out to be the giveaway. For example, I’ve gotten into the horrible habit of biting and tearing at my cuticles. I do this when I am stressed, and often don’t notice until I look down and see bloody hands. (I know, gross!) Another thing I do when I’m stressed is to grind my teeth. I also don’t notice this, until I realize my jaw is insanely tight and I have a whopping headache. Another give away for me! If I’ve had a highly stressful month, I’ve even started to notice that my health will go on a decline for a while, sometimes severely (for example, digestive problems, nausea, fatigue, swelling, brain fog, etc.) and I have to fight my way back to feeling healthy, and this includes dealing with my stress.
Stress is an enormous factor in thyroid function. I’m sure any of you with Hashimotos, or any other chronic illness in fact, are well aware of. But what are we doing about it? I’m prone to think that when I feel overly stressed in a situation, I just need to suck it up keep trucking along. However, this obviously hasn’t taken care of the issue. Avoiding a problem is not dealing with it. I’m learning how to acknowledge when I feel very stressed, often by paying attention to what my body is doing, and then dealing with the issue in a healthy way.
As I am learning and putting into practice different techniques, I thought it would be beneficial for you all to learn and grow with me, as we all know the importance of mental health on the road to recovery. Here’s my idea: I want to start adding in little articles more consistently about thoughts, techniques, learning moments, etc., on dealing with daily stress. It will also allow me to be more mindful of my mental health as well!
Here’s one of my thoughts on dealing with stress, and the first of many more articles about the issue!
Finding moments of rest.
Being in college for a while now, (senior semester, baby!) as well as working many different jobs, keeping up with homework and relationships, paying bills, etc., I have had many seasons of life, in fact most of my seasons of life, be very fast paced without much time for physical rest. Being an introvert, I crave that alone time to recharge and process. But honestly, sometimes I just don’t have that much time in the day to do that. Many of you are in that same boat! The universe doesn’t seem to know I need a specific amount of time in my chair, losing myself in reflection every day. Haha! It continues to fly ahead.
So what do I do when everything is GO GO GO and I just don’t have the time to give myself all the alone time of rest I need? Well, I do try to be very intentional in scheduling time for myself to rest. I’d rather not get quite so much accomplished in a day if that means I ran myself to the ground and was probably a bit of a jerk to everyone in the process.
However, there are just those seasons where time is simply very limited. In those times, I’ve learned this little trick–finding moments of rest for your mind even if it’s a minute or two or even a few seconds. This could be different depending on the person, but I like to just take a deep breath and let my mind slow down from the fast paced speed it’s been moving in. I disconnect from it all just for a bit, and just pay attention to my senses. (Which I get sounds a little weird.) I do this because it gets my brain to slow down for a minute and focus on what is actually happening. I feel the coldness of my glass of water, I notice the smells in the air, I touch the metal table in front of my and feel it’s smoothness, I listen for the sound of birds chirping, etc. Just being aware of where you are and what you’re doing helps your brain to slow down and acknowledge the present. After this, I simply recognize that God is with me, and He remains the same regardless of my crazy circumstances. This never fails to refocus my eyes and readjust my perspective. I do this with the little bit of time I have, but what a difference it can make in a day! It really helps me to not feel totally burned out in a season of fast paced living.
Anyway, this is one little technique I’ve noticed really helps me with my stress!
What do you guys think? What are some ways YOU deal with stress?