Stress Symptoms & Stress Relief Techniques
My fellow mama’s, I need to start off with an apology for being a little absent lately. I have not been handling the things I have had going on very well and that is just not fair to you! I’m sorry and I am working on managing my shit better!! That being said, the biggest contributor to me being away from you all is STRESS!
I am not a doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. I am sharing my experiences and personal recommendations. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Before becoming a mom I didn’t know exactly what stress was and didn’t even worry about it. I knew the basic concept was being overwhelmed with the things going on around you. So what exactly is stress? The definition that applies here is:
Stress: noun. a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
“What the fuck does that mean?” It boils down to a chemical reaction like when you are in “fight or flight” mode. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up, your breathing gets faster and your muscles constrict. Ever have a neck or back ache for no apparent reason? That’s probably stress. It is your body’s way of protecting itself. There are a lot of signs and symptoms these are just SOME of them. Stress can appear differently from person to person so I have divided the signs categorically: Physical, Emotional, Behavioral, and Cognitive.
- Low energy
- Aches and pains
- Upset stomach
- Get sick often
- Loss of sex desire or ability
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sweaty hands and feet
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling lonely or worthless
- Avoiding people
- Agitated, irritable, or moody
- Needing to take control or feeling lost/out of control
- Changes in appetite (eating too much or not enough)
- Procrastination/Avoiding responsibilities
- Nervous behaviors like nail biting or fidgeting can
- Constant worrying
- Racing thoughts
- Unable to focus
- Poor judgement
- Tune in to your body: slow down, take 5-10 minutes to focus on one of your senses. The taste or texture of your food, feeling the breeze on your face or put on some music or nature sounds. I like to do this after baby is asleep, I will sit with my hot pad on my neck or back and drink a cup of hot tea (sometimes wine).
- Meditate or deep breathe: when baby is napping sit comfortably and just breath deep with your hands on your belly to feel the breaths. You can even say a positive affirmation on your exhale like : I love myself, I am at peace, or today is a good day. I felt silly the first few times I tried it but it has REALLY improved my mood swings.
- Talk it out: this can be with a professional or even just a close friend. Try getting face to face with someone or at least on the phone. Venting your frustrations can help you get a new perspective on your situation and often helps.
- Laugh: laughing boosts endorphins(chemicals in your brain that are natural pain killers)! Watch a new comedy or listen to a funny podcast!
- Exercise: also boost endorphins! Exercise can also help you sleep better which ALSO reduces stress!
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