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  • Fe Robinson

National Stress Awareness Day

We all need some pressure in our lives, it can be stimulating and energising, and help us achieve more than we would if we were never challenged. All too often though, what is asked and expected of us can tip past our capacity to manage it, and then, stress arises. Stress is the imbalance between our capacity, and the demands we face.

We know that chronic stress is bad for our health, physically as well as psychologically. If it were not enough that it makes us miserable and leaves us continually vigilant and alert and unable to relax, it weakens our immune system and makes many conditions and diseases more likely.

This National Stress Awareness Day, it’s time to pause, and consider what in your life is contributing to stress. Undoubtedly some of those things will be out of your control. For these, the sensible route is to build resilience and your capacity. We do this by balancing out, by prioritising self care, rest and recuperation, by taking good care of body and mind. We may need to do double our usual renewal methods when we are under stress, because we need more resilience.

Some stressors may be things you can influence, and some may even be self-inflicted. When we have high expectations of ourselves, or take responsibility for others rather than holding them accountable for their own wellbeing or performance, then we can make our burden bigger than we can bear. For these things we need to take a step back and look at how we can bring influence to bear. How can you manage your boundaries? Where might you say no, or delegate, or change the dynamics of the situation? What life changes might you make to maximise your health and happiness?

These things may sound simple to say, but they are not so easy to do. Stress can creep up on us, and it can be cumulative. Your nervous system can get stuck in the ‘on’ position, and it can take time and consistency to get the rhythm going of moving smoothly from activation to rest and back again.

If you are feeling stressed, please speak out. Get help from those who love you. Talk to colleagues. And if needed, seek professional help. You, and life, are too precious for suffering to become the norm.


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