Stress is our body’s way of dealing with outside pressure or threats. A small amount of stress can be helpful, it can encourage us to do a task, motivate us to hit a work deadline or remember important information. However, long-term chronic stress can lead to both physical and mental health conditions.
This month is National Stress Awareness Day (November 4th,) and the aim of the campaign by the International Stress Management Association is to raise awareness, reduce stigma and promote the importance of reducing stress. Our guide will give you practical tips to help reduce stress in your work and home life.
What does stress look like?
Stress can come from too much pressure from work, home life or even from the pressure we put on ourselves.
There are several signs of stress, The ISMA has a good guide here, but briefly, stress can show up as:
Physical symptoms – weight loss or gain, indigestion, headaches, aches and pains, exhaustion.
Emotional symptoms – crying, angry, mood swings.
Behavioural signs - withdrawal from social interaction.
Psychological symptoms – insomnia, poor memory.
What conditions can be brought on by chronic stress?
Tension headaches and migraines
High blood pressure – which can lead to heart problems
Make asthma worse
Obesity – an increase in the body’s stress hormone cortisol increases fat stored around the abdomen.
Depression and anxiety
How can I manage stress in my work and home life?
Give yourself a break – Just 5-10 minutes away from the stressful task can help. Make a cup of tea or watch a funny video on your phone. If you can, a short break in nature can be very helpful.
Identify the stressors and work with your family or employer to reduce these. Asking for help and support is important. Often colleagues or friends won’t realise how much you have been doing and so can help you to reduce your stress and workload.
Get into nature – Walking in nature has been found to help reduce stress. Exercise is also very beneficial.
It’s good to talk – call a friend and discuss the issue. Often others perspectives on issues can help us find novel solutions we might not have thought of.
Set boundaries – make sure that you give yourself clear boundaries for work and home life so that stresses from one don’t move into the other.
Meditation and yoga have been found to help, although any low impact mindful exercise like walking, can be very beneficial.
How Good Oaks can help
Good Oaks Home Care provides live-in and visiting care to help people live independent lives in their own homes for as long as possible. All our carers are trained to the highest standard. There are lots of ways Good Oaks Home Care carers can help you or your loved one live an independent and dignified life. To find out more, visit goodoakshomecare.co.uk