Stress is a problem we all face at different times, and it’s an insidious one. As the pressure mounts, what feels like simple tiredness can escalate out of control, and lead to burnout, or to unhealthy coping mechanisms, or physical illness!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the ways you can deal with stress, and reduce the risk of falling foul of some of those negative outcomes.
What’s the Source of the Stress?
The most important thing you can do is identify the source of the stress. Your solution depends on what is putting pressure on you: career based burnout is a very different problem to a source of stress in the home, and needs a different solution.
This is a time for some reflection. Have an honest look at your life, and work out where the pressure is coming from: what’s intruding on your thoughts when you try to rest, what’s eating in time that should be for you and your loved ones.
Confronting the Source of Stress
Sometimes, you can succeed in confronting the source of your problems head on. This is useful in situations where you’re facing a single problem, or have a decision to make, where you realistically have some power situation. Rethinking your finances, or dealing with a specific problem at work are two examples where you can attack stress head on.
Sit down with someone you trust and work through your problem with them: they offer not just moral support, but a fresh perspective. To someone not as close to the problem, more solutions may be visible!
Distraction and Relaxation
For some problems, solutions are not possible – not in the short anyway. Illness, a toxic workplace it’s not easy to escape from, a testing childcare situation; none of these offer easy escape.
In situations like this, look for distraction. Try to establish times, even short times that are for you alone. If you struggle to do nothing, look for a hobby that structures your time, and provides you with an emotional or creative outlet. Exercise fills this function for some. Others may wish to look into writing or ordering a creative subscription box.
A Mixed Approach
For the majority of people, the mixed approach is best: no problem is solvable immediately, so even if you can come up with a plan to improve your situation, it’s worth deploying some distraction and relaxation techniques. Conversely, even if you’re ‘trapped’ in a situation, you can still think of constructive ways to try to make it better, so it’s worth taking a look at your problems, as well finding ways to mentally escape them!