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Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

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Old 07-14-2011, 03:47 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 94
bartonse HB Userbartonse HB User
Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

Well . . . where do I start!?

I'm feeling extremely stressed out at the moment, there are so many reasons and I don't know how to deal with it.

Here are my reasons:
- Work is a nightmare, too much pressure and not enough hours in the day! No support from manager.
- My health is not great at the moment, am undergoing tests but docs are not communicating with me. Tests have been going on for 4 months and the latest batch were done 5 weeks ago. My consultant is on holiday and I've been told that I have to wait until he returns until I can get my results!!
- Home life is a strain. Living back with my parents due to debt problems in the past. So in a 3 bed house there are my mum & dad, me & my fiance and my brother & his girlfriend!! I don't mind being there it's just that my dad has OCD so is difficult to live with anyway and my brother leaves the place looking like a bomb's gone off! My mum's too soft on them so I just have to live with it until I can afford to move out, hopefully in early 2012.
- My father-in-law has just been diagnosed with cancer so I'm trying to be as supportive as I can for his family. With everything else going on at the moment I'm finding it hard to be the supportive daughter-in-law I should be.

Here are the symptoms:
- Can't concentrate on anything and to be honest I've stopped caring about most things anyway.
- Am irritable and emotional all the time
- Feel like my heart will jump out of my chest if it has to beat any faster! I feel 'worked up' all the time.
- Frequent headaches and migraines
- Unable to get a good nights sleep
- Patches of dry skin on my shoulders and eyelids
- Mouth ulcers like you wouldn't believe, these have now spread to my throat.
- IBS flare up
- Lack of appetite

I've been seeing a hypnotherapist for my fear of flying so am trying to use the relaxation techniques she taught me to deal with my stress but it's really not working. Exercise hasn't helped either.

I was signed off work for 4 weeks in 2010 for stress but I don't want this to happen again, I can't afford to take time off work.

Does anyone have a miracle cure?!

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Old 07-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 49
Nerdlie HB UserNerdlie HB UserNerdlie HB UserNerdlie HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

Hi bartonhouse,

I am sorry to hear you are going through a rough time, I will try and give you some tools for coping with stress that have worked really well for me.
I do yoga & meditation, which has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! I have learned how to breathe 'properly' which may sound bogus, but is SO important for lowering the body's stress reaction, as you get WAY more oxygen to your brain/heart/lungs/all organs really.. and that helps your physiological response to stress not be SO significant.
The feeling of being 'worked up' all the time, as well as all of your physical manifestations of stress, can really be attributed to your body being in a 'fight or flight' mode all the time. Basically, your nervous system is hyper-stimulated by all the cortisol (stress hormone) pumping through you. There are some good ways to reduce this, which is the good news!
It will help your health A LOT if you can try and reduce your stress.. here are some things I find help a lot:
lavender oil -- I put some in the bath, spritz some in my room (water + oil in a spray bottle), put it in a room diffuser, or use a candle.
Lemon balm -- find it in teas, tinctures, etc. it is a naturally relaxing herb -- I love it! Eases my mind right away.
Taking time for yourself -- have hot baths, garden, paint/write/do something creative, go to the spa or do at-home spa treatments, socialize with friends, etc. Do things that make you feel relaxed, good about yourself, and happy in general. This is SO important and often overlooked! "Me time" is important and you need at least an hour of it every day!
Nutrition -- balanced diet is very important for dealing with stress. Malnutrition or any nutrient deficiencies can cause all kinds of stress-response issues. You simply won't cope as well if you're lacking anything vital to your health. Lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains!! Organic when possible is even better. Also, going long periods of time without food/skipping meals is TERRIBLE for amping up cortisol and causing stress on the body! DON'T DO THIS!!
Reading -- it puts the mind at ease and is very relaxing for most people. Even if it's just a magazine, it can really help.
Talking to friends/counsellor/people close to you -- this can help you cope/manage stress a lot.. but also try not to dwell on your problems too much! This can make it worse.
Avoid anti-anxiety meds -- they are only for short term use, are super addictive (no matter what the doctors will tell you) and really aren't the answer. You gotta change your high-stress lifestyle if you want to change anything.. not add drugs to the mix. This is just a warning. I myself, as well as many others I know, have had HUGE problems from anti-anxiety meds such as benzodiazepines. Only take those if you reaaaaaaaaaally need them.. and very few people qualify as really needing them. Like I said, super addictive.
Avoid alcohol/drugs -- yeah, may relax you temporarily, but cause depression/anxiety and sleep problems, to name a few. Should be avoided. Try cutting out alcohol completely until your life is not so stressful.
Exercise -- exercising reduces stress levels by actually inhibiting the production of cortisol.. it also amps up endorphins/serotonin in the brain, which basically means you'll be happier and more relaxed.

As you can see, taking control of your stress is really about taking charge of your life & body & approaching the situation holistically. The body is like a car, you have to keep it well oiled and properly maintained in order for everything to work properly. Also, don't be afraid to say no to people. You're already overextended. If you feel like someone is asking too much of you, or anything of you & you just don't have the time/energy... just say no! You don't need an excuse. You'd be surprised how not taking on other people's problems can really reduce YOUR stress levels!

Good luck hun, if you have any more Qs just ask Take care of yourself!!

The Following User Says Thank You to Nerdlie For This Useful Post:
sweet_chic (08-11-2011)
Old 08-03-2011, 02:44 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 94
bartonse HB Userbartonse HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

Thanks for all yours suggestions Nerdlie!

I've made some positive steps towards becoming more relaxed and less stressed. My boss now understands that the pressure put on me was too much and targets were unrealistic. Now that they can see this, I feel loads better as the pressure is no longer there. I'm a human being, not a robot!

Since then my migraines have gone but still having skin problems . . I guess this might take a bit longer to fix.

I've joined a gym and am going at least 4 days a week before work, the early mornings are a killer but at least by the time I get to my desk I feel alert and ready for the day ahead. Hopefully I'll lose a few pounds too!

My hypnotherapist has offered me some extra sessions free of charge to teach me some more relaxation techniques. My fear of flying is still with me and I've been told that until I relax more, the fix won't sink in properly. I've got a holiday booked so only have 5 weeks to learn to love flying. Wish me luck.

My fiance's dad has had more bad news regarding his cancer but he's such a positive and chilled out person that he's not letting it get the better of him. I admire him for that and only hope that I can learn from him.

All in all things are looking up. I'm so glad . . . I felt like I was drowning!! I'm so thankful to my family and friends who have been so supportive during this horrid time. Also to board members who have shared similar stories on here.

Old 08-03-2011, 03:12 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,100
writeleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?


Hello and it sounds like you have already begun the steps you need in order to put things back in place..

We have learned so many things about stress and it's effects on us that is is almost scary. It is very important for all of us to learn skills that work for us to have ready when it pops up. Those mechanisms will be different for each of us, but there are a few that work for me I will share happily. Any of these can be modified to adapt to your area and your interests.

When I find myself overwhelmed, (which is my first clue) I like to sit down and make a list of all the things I think are causing the stress. There are usually two main categories, things that I can do something about, and things I CANNOT do anything about. Some can be linked together, so now your list is broken down into more manageable pieces.

For the things you cannot do anything about, ie your brother and his mess, your dad;s OCD, your mother being too soft, etc..those you cannot address at this time. You can choose not to involve yourself in those matters, and even tell them so. You can mention that you are under a severe amount of stress between your job, your father in laws health crisis, (which I would rank very high to the top of your list on the other side), and that you ask that they understand while you try and lighten your load and once things settle, you will return to focusing on your family. By expressing your situation clearly, you do not risk other dramas to pop up while you are off duty.

Now you have the real stuff, the health issue...very important. Whenever serious medical issues have arisen, the family should rally around the ill person. If you can volunteer to sit with him (if he is in the hospital), feed his cat, or water his grass, that would be a productive and appreciated gesture that really is thoughtfully to the family. The act of giving support is very meaningful and should create balance within yourself to be both helping and offering you solace and a sense of belonging.

Keep your list in the open so you can cross off things that are over with, adding new things that are coming up, and keep it organic in nature. Nothing is written in stone, and life is the same way.

I think you choice to talk openly to your boss was a great step forward. With everything out in the open, the chances of things getting better soon are realistic, without effecting your job.

One nice thing about the newly understood stress, is that so many people understand it now,. The shame from feeling overwhelmed is very common to most of us. I look forward to the day when we all get a better sense of community when working so hard together to keep ourselves happy and healthy.

You made the most important step in reaching out for help, and this is a great place to do so. We are happy to have you with us, and anytime you find yourself in another situation you would like to talk about, just call out and we will be there for you.


Last edited by writeleft; 08-03-2011 at 03:14 AM.

Old 08-29-2011, 04:18 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: lenoir,NC.
Posts: 10
sawthelight HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

bartonhouse; I really feel for you as I am also and really have always been in a stressful life. it seems that is just way life is for some. have you tried writing down all the things that could be wrong/worse and are not. TRY to be more positive as I can see the stress is making you ill. you no you can handle most any situation if you feel good, healthy, and positive. try to see a little humor in some of it. go to a very funny movie!! remember its a known fact that "what does not break you will make you stronger" and also, a better person. as for the dying issue ( dont mean to sound hard) but everyone has to die someday. IF you know the Lord it is the beginning of a wonderful ETERNAL life. " it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgement". trully hope i have helped a little. ps. have you tried anti-depressants. they are also some herbs for depression/stress. do some research, ask some questions. be very careful with benzodines/barbituates. very addictive and hard to get off of. but the anti-depressants are OK. janet said it much better than I. she is right about getting involved with the one who is sick/hurting. as it always helps the giver more than the receiver of the help. that is just a LAW of life. prayer always helps too.

Last edited by sawthelight; 08-29-2011 at 04:28 AM. Reason: add on help

Old 02-10-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3
Aquafever HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

I would try meditation daily. I use You Tube, it has many meditations that you can follow along. I think it helps. When I'm under a lot of stress and I am right now, besides the pressure, I start losing my hair. I make sure I meditate daily now.

Old 04-24-2012, 02:18 AM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 94
bartonse HB Userbartonse HB User
Re: Not coping! How do I deal with stress?

Thanks to everyone for your help and suggestions.

Worklife and health problems are still causing me some stress and this has been proven in my most recent blood test results. Doc said it's nothing to worry about though so I'll just carry on.

I have also discovered Zumba! I'm tired most of the time but I always reserve some energy for my 2 weekly classes. It's such good fun and really helps!

Home life is much better too. I recently got married and my family seem a lot happier which in turn is making my life a lot easier.

Sadly, my father-in-law passed away last week and although we had prepared ourselves, his death wasn't expected so suddenly. Obviously it's a stressful time for the whole family but we're all glad that he is no longer suffering.

I am now able to detect when I'm stressed from physical signs. . . fatigue extremely dry skin (usually patches under my eyes), bad stomach, headaches. As soon as I notice something I'm on to it immediately.

My husband isn't coping too well, he's having chest pains and is unable to sleep. He's had sleeping pills from the doc but they're not working. I've offered him my hypnotherapy relaxation cd to listen to and although he's sceptical he's so tired he'll try anything. Fingers crossed it helps.

People really underestimate how debilitating stress can be, it's something that needs more support. x

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