Are you like the Stone, the Sea or the Sand?
A stone is less able to move forward, rigid in thinking and can get stuck. Stress can be as heavy as a boulder and we can struggle to carry its constant burden unless we seek support. Next time you feel stress overwhelming you imagine you are carrying a huge boulder with you everywhere you go and recognize that you need help and seek support to carry it and then let it go. I was a stubborn stone holder until I asked for appropriate support. Are you a stubborn stone holder?
The sea is fluid, just like waves ebb and flow so does stress, throughout our lives stress comes and goes, sometimes fleeting and manageable but can also affect us for many weeks or long term, impacting on our overall well being and that is when we need to recognize it is time for us to seek support. Why weather the constants storms and crashing waves when we can steer ourselves to calmer waters and head to the safety of a calm and stress free shore? Are you as fluid as the sea?
Have you ever written in the sand or made a sandcastle and then the waves come and wash it away? We need to find a way to write our worries and stresses in the sand and let the waves come and go because holding onto stress can be harmful to our psychological and physical well being if we don’t acknowledge it, seek support and find ways to cope. Are you like sand?
Stress is a symptom of our hectic, busy lives and in the current economic climate and job shortage it is often understandable too but don’t just shrug your shoulders and let it continue because stress may be a part of life on occasion but it should never become a constant of life. There is a difference between manageable stress and overwhelm. Our relationships can also cause stress, pressure at work, money worries, parenthood and adult responsibility or leaving school, taking exams or heading off to university can all take their toll. It is so important to face up to our stress triggers and act on them, find ways to alleviate or manage our day to day stress levels or if they seem to get out of hand or continue for a while we need to recognize that we need to seek support.
What are your stress triggers? (eg money worries) Be honest and remember taking self responsibility is the key to self help and stress management
Where can I get support or help? (eg visit Citizens Advice Bureau or similar debt advice or support service) Find out what services are available in your area, go to the library, Google it, ask friends and family
Check out your emotional and physical health, we can become ill through stress but also stress can be a symptom so get checked to alleviate any worries
Advocacy services or your union at work can often support you with work related issues.
Relationship issues can normally be sorted by communicating, however keep yourself safe if in a volatile or abusive relationship and if needs be seek appropriate support from domestic abuse services or report to the police. The reality is some relationships break apart, in fact hanging onto an unhappy relationship can cause more stress than ending it – if its worth saving seek mediation services or couples counselling but this takes the two of you trying to make it work.
Telephone helplines can be convenient but may be costly so check out if appropriate eg some debt helplines or support services have cheap rate calls whilst others charge premium rates
Schools, colleges and Universities have pastoral or learning support services, check these out
Create a Stress checklist for yourself of helpful people or support services, keep it handy and remember if its causing you stress its worth seeking help rather than deal with it alone.
These are just a few examples of ways in which to alleviate stress or lessen worry. If worry continues or you are still finding it overwhelming seek advice, support or counselling. You owe it to yourself to keep yourself well and stress and worry can contribute significantly upon our health so please monitor stress levels as suggested in Stress Tip no 1.