Oh boy, I have been wanting to write about this one for quite some time now because this one hits home to me BIG time.
For most of my life, I have been consumed with a busy, stressful life. I wore it as a badge of honour, took pride in my few hours of sleep and thought it equated to a strength. You know, I was like super woman, this gal could do anything, who cares if it meant running myself too thin, compromising my health, being tired ALL THE TIME and not having a quality of life.
So, of course when someone told me to slow down, to take time for me, saying that I don't have to do everything, I quietly judged them and was astonished that they couldn't see that what I was doing was brave. I was super woman, wasn`t I?
Boy was I wrong. I had no idea the damage of what I was doing to myself and what stress was doing to my body and my mind. So naturally, it was only a matter of time when I would reach the end of my rope and my body would shut down and I would crash. You see I wasn`t listening to the warning signs.
But before I jump into the nitty gritty details of what stress can do, I want to make it clear that stress (in small amounts) is actually good for you.
Yup, it certainly is. Stress and anxiety has actually been a life skill for every single human that has inhabited this earth. For example, without stress we wouldn't know when we are in danger. Our bulit in fight or flight mechanism actually helps us identify when we need to run for our lives or when we should avoid a dangerous situation. In addition, minimal amounts of stress helps us achieve goals and complete tasks with efficiency. So, stress is actually required in our lives to succeed.
But, the problem with stress is when it exists for long period of times and becomes chronic. Constant if you will. Which in my case, I was suffering from chronic stress. I was dealing with A LOT of stress for A LONG time. There were a lot of warning sides but I ignored every last one. What I didn`t know, is that when you deal with chronic stress, there are so many side effects.
Take a look at the photo below that highlights a few of the more common side effects of living a life of chronic stress.
So, if you are aware that you live with chronic stress, I recommend some of these top tips that I have used to bounce back from my burnout from chronic stress. Some of these might sound like a cliche but they have made a huge difference in my life and has helped me and continues to help me with dealing with stress.
So don`t knock it before you try it. Trust me on this!!
Firstly, learn to meditate. And no, this doesn`t have to be all hooky pooky, it really just means learning to sit, be quiet with yourself, slow down and just breathe. Even if you practice this for one minute a day you will start to see positive changes.
Learn the power of NO. You don't have to do everything, you can say NO, you can take things off your plate and you don't have to do everything. Let me tell you, you won't receive a badge of honour in the end for trying to do everything and please everyone.
Have some self-compassion. Do what you love, have fun, add things in your life that you want to do, spend time with family, just do things that you make you happy.
UNPLUG. Turn off your phones, reduce your exposure to the news and practice being away from the negativity and stress that encompasses our lives way too much.
Doing these three things alone can make a huge impact on how you deal with stress. Don't wait until it is too late to deal with stress, you can make changes now and it will pay off in the long run.
I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit of information. Because I am so passionate about helping people be aware of the damages of stress and how to deal with it, I am launching a FREE mastermind class to give you more up to date information and strategies and am in the process of creating a course to address the nitty gritty of it all.
Be sure to stay in touch and keep your eyes open for these things coming very soon.
As always, thanks for the support.
"You can do anything, but you can`t do everything!"