• janemcgrath48

How can I manage Stress in my busy life?

I always feel busy, stressed and hassled.

This is the mother of all questions, given the levels of stress being recorded globally for the 21st Century.

Stress is, thankfully, being recognised (in all its variants) as a complex, legitimate condition that needs immediate attention.

I know, through my own experience, that thinking you can deal with it yourself is a serious mistake that can have disastrous consequences. Sometimes it does not seem too bad. That is the dangerous time – you start to ignore the symptoms that are obvious, yet seemingly insignificant. Then, combined with the normal stresses of each day, the whole effect becomes unmanageable.

IF IT CONTINUES, go to your GP who can refer you to someone well qualified to help.

This may be difficult at the moment but, if you someone in whom you can confide, call him/her and talk about it. You are not alone. It is on the news, talking about the effects of Covid-19 lockdowns on people’s mental state from students to elderly people in care homes and everywhere in between.

I cover this more fully in my Online programme in January. I am not a professional but I am an expert. Having PTSD, severe bouts of depression and panic attacks, I have learned from myself and help from others, ways of minimizing the effects of over-stress.

Below are a few tips that I have used. If you have never tried Meditation, please do so. I scoffed at it, but now meditate every day, knowing how I will feel afterwards. It took some time to get it but, with patience I got the results. You can too.

When you're swept away in a number of demands, your stress hormone climbs sky-high. This hormone is called cortisol, and it's produced by pyramid-shaped structures on top of the kidneys (adrenal glands).

Cortisol can suppress your immune system, so you're more likely to become ill. And it can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Cortisol can also affect some of the areas in the brain involved with memory and learning processes.

To avoid these negative effects of stress, look for ways to keep stress — and cortisol — at manageable levels. Here are two of my practices that you may consider trying to manage your stress:

· Ritualise. This means having a consistent pattern, within reason, to your day. For example, in the evening, you can plan ahead for the next day. Try making your lunch and setting your clothes out the night before. That way, you're not running around in the morning trying to find what you need.

· Minimise decisions. To decide on anything creates stress and erodes energy. It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the decisions in everyday life. Try to limit how many decisions you need to make. You can do this by limiting how many choices you have, which can help you reduce the number of decisions you need to make. And try not to worry over the small stuff. Save your energy for the big decisions.

If you have predictable routines and work to minimise distractions, you can make your days a little less stressful and maybe a little more productive, too.

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