Signs of Stress & Simple Self-care Strategies
Updated: Dec 5, 2018
Sometimes elevated stress sneaks up on us and suddenly we’re yelling at the red light for making us late to an appointment, only to find we’ve gone the wrong direction entirely because our mind was preoccupied with everything else on our to-do list (full disclosure- personal experience). So, if we find ourselves not on top of our game- distracted, clumsy, forgetful, dizzy, fatigued- then it is time to stop and smell the roses.
The stress responses below only skim the surface of how stress affects us. I share them with you in hopes you take a moment to check in with your body, mind, spirit.
Moody – Feeling irritable, impatient, short-tempered, or angry with people or situations that normally would not upset you.
Upset Stomach- Gastrointestinal problems like IBS, diarrhea, bloating may arise. Stress eating or over-indulging can compound the gut response to stress.
Headaches-Muscles tensing in the shoulders, neck, and jaw may lead to tension headaches. Tight muscles can restrict movement and blood flow to the brain.
Increased blood pressure- Poor diet and too much alcohol can contribute to this cardiovascular response to stress.
Simple Self-care Strategies
Pause- Stop what you are doing, close your eyes, and take three slow breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth.
Give someone a hug- Touch stimulates the release of endorphins and reduces heart rate.
Say “no”- Empower yourself to say no when your task list is nearing full. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Set a good example for others when you take care of yourself in this way.
Benefits of Massage therapy include: elevating mood and lowering blood pressure, calming a cringing gut, and reducing muscle tension. Massage therapy creates the opportunity to slow down, breathe, and let go. Consider carving out an hour in your schedule to get a massage.
Robin Falkner, Licensed Massage Therapist