What is Stress?
Stress is anything that demands mental tension. It causes the release of chemical reactions in our body that can lead to diseases. Scary, right? But don't fret!
Stress is classified into two: Eustress and Distress.
The eustress is a short term type of stress that helps us become alert and makes our brain work well. On the other hand, distress is a long term type of stress that makes us tensed for a long time. It affects our moods and ability to adjust. It also causes us to have insomnia, palpitations, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, and digestion issues.
There are two types of Stressors:
1. Daily Hassles - these are the regular situations that create stress.
Examples: shopping, preparing meals, concerns about medical treatments, having too many things to do, traffic noises, being lonely, etc.
2.Uplifts - big changes or situations that create stress.
Example: Life changes (graduating from college, moving to a new neighborhood, getting a scholarship, etc.) and conflicts (deciding between two options).
So, how can you handle stress better?
1. Pray and meditate.
“Be in the state of grace” is what my mother always tells me. Decide to be in the state of grace. Be aware of all the blessings that you have in your life, even the little things. Thank God and pray for His guidance and strength to face what you are going through. He is always there for you. Run to the one who never runs dry. He is in control.
2. Change your mindset.
Let go of the stress by focusing on what you should do. When I began to panic, I will fight it with believing in myself and that I can do it. Believe that you can because you really can do it. Focus on the solution and do it. Do not focus too much on the problem because you will get nowhere. Look for the solution.
3. Have a social media detox.
Turn off your gadgets for a while and relax. Sometimes we are too much consumed by social media and it may lead us to depression especially if we dwell on the wrong side of it. Focus on different things while recharging. Social media can give us stress when we are too into it so turn away from it from time to time.
4. Exercise and eat a balanced meal.
Do physical activities. Have a walk or you can work out in your home and if you have time then go to the gym. Have a healthy diet. Eating healthy food and being physically active can reduce stress levels by giving you the right nutrition your body needs. Unhealthy eating may lead your stress level to skyrocket and we don’t want that.
5. Avoid too much coffee. (Really. It helps).
I know. I know. A lot of us love coffee. But in times of stress, we must avoid it or lessen our intake because it can cause nervousness and increases our stress level. So, lessen your intake as much as possible, though avoiding it is much better.
6. Get enough sleep.
Getting enough sleep can give your body the energy it needs. Just like our gadgets, we need to be recharged 100% so that we can sustain throughout the day. I’d be honest with you that I’ve not been getting enough sleep for the last few months because of my school works but now that I've been staying at home because of the quarantine, I’m getting enough sleep and I can say that it really made me feel better.
7. Take a break, do your hobbies.
Do what you love doing. I write poems, draw, paint, or read books to relieve stress. It leads me away from my problems and lets me recharge my mind.
8. Affirm yourself.
When you wake up in the morning, face yourself in the mirror, and affirm yourself. “You are beautiful. You are loved. You can do it. Today is gonna be a great day.” are some of the things I say to myself when I’m starting my day. It can lighten up your mood and be hopeful of a fresh new start for a bright new day.
9. Listen to your favorite songs that light up your mood.
I have a playlist on Spotify that can really boost my energy and it can really relieve my stress. Listening to the music you like can make you motivated to go on with your day and face the challenges that have been giving you stress.
10. Buy less.
Money and wants can give you stress. If you are not yet financially capable then buy the things you need first. You can save money for your wants later on.
11. Spend time with your loved ones.
Social support is a buffer against stress. Having fun with your friends or family is a good way of relieving stress. You can also open up your problems to them because someone will always be willing to listen. You are not alone.
If you like, you can also check out a toolkit/a workbook by Darlene called "Anxiety Workbook for Women: Living Life Without Overwhelm, Stress, and Worry". This workbook was designed for busy, stressed out, stretched-out women just like you. It contains her short-term, nearly immediate natural anxiety remedies and anxiety busters as well as her long-term strategies for a happier and healthier life, attitude, and mindset.
How about you? What do you do to relieve your stress aside from the things mentioned above? I want to learn how you handle stress and your insights about it.
If you are feeling down right now, please don’t lose hope and reach out. We all go through different kinds of challenges and we can fight it. Take it one step at a time and be on your own phase. You are not alone. Please seek help. It can be your family, a friend, a guidance counselor, or a psychiatrist. Take care of yourself. Your mental health is important.