Before I left on vacation, I knew stress was getting the better of me and I needed some quality time off. But it wasn’t until the first full day away when I realized just how MUCH I needed that break. So I started thinking back on the days leading up to my get-away; I made some notes and put together this list:
7 Sneaky Signs that Stress is Ruling Your Life
I call them ‘sneaky’ because they can creep up on you without realizing it. See if you recognize yourself in any of these, and then read what to do about it:
- It dawns on you that you’re snacking several times between meals or continuously
- Even if they’re healthy snacks, you shouldn’t need to eat between meals if you’re eating nutritious meals
- You eat or drink too much
- Here again, although your meal may be healthy, as we age our body simply doesn’t need the same amount of calories that we did when we were younger.
- Usually when we’re stressed, we don’t eat mindfully; instead we bolt our food down, which leads to overeating.
- Coupled with this is drinking too much. It’s so easy to relax with a glass of wine or beer before dinner, then continue on with more glasses as you try to relax.
- When you lay down to go to sleep, your brain continually replays something that’s on your mind
- You do all your usual nighttime routine, and you still can’t shut the brain down
- As much as you tell yourself to focus – you can’t.
- Every little thing distracts you and then it takes even longer to get back to where you were
- You end up working longer hours but getting less done
- You find that you’ve made more mistakes than usual
- The thought of yet another work day fills you with dread
- You hate being on the computer or whatever your work is
- You procrastinate more and more each day
- Your patience is worn thin – with people, with yourself, with waiting in line, or waiting for something to happen
- You snap at people more easily
- Or you become judgmental and negative about everything
- The biggest one is: everything that you normally do to help relieve stress, doesn’t work.
- You do your yoga, meditation, walking, breathing, whatever you usually do, and you STILL have these issues.
What to Do If You Recognize These Signs
If you find yourself experiencing these, what do you do?
THIS is the time to get away, and I mean completely away. It may only be half a day, a whole day, maybe several days.
- If you’re taking care of children or aging parents, you may have to find someone to swap shifts with you, or hire someone to come in, or put them in day care. Be creative.
- You have got to get yourself OUT of your normal environment and someplace where you can just VEG. Because if you don’t, your quality of life and work and relationships is RAPIDLY going to spiral down.
- I’m not talking about, exercising, shopping, dining with friends, going to a movie, or other diversionary activities. I’m talking about going someplace quiet, where you won’t be disturbed, and you can just BE.
- It’s best if you get into nature. Just sit or lay quietly, close your eyes and absorb. Feel what’s around you with your other senses.Breathe slowly and deeply. Let your brain completely drain. Let the muscles around your face, neck, and shoulders relax.
- Stay here as long as you can; because the longer you do, the greater the benefit.
It’s like immersing yourself in a bubble of peace and calm. Then, when you return to your normal routine, you’ll be in a much better state, and you’ll be able to once again manage your stress.
Give it a try, and let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!
See: Mindfulness and Meditation – How Do You Fit It Into Your Day