Busy is the normal, and we’re all stressed out
Stressed out? Are you finding yourself going to work earlier and leaving later? Is your email inbox always full and you are unable to give it the time and attention it needs? Do you feel you are working beyond capacity, and not being recognised, or just generally feeling over-worked?
You are not alone.
You and thousands, possibly millions of others are feeling exactly the same way.
Not sleeping properly, working through your lunch break, not eating properly, and meanwhile, you are seeing your colleagues leave earlier, and you find yourself with no time even to enjoy some small talk or niceties with them.
You are not alone.
You and many others experience being stressed out every day, ultimately, feeling burnt out, angry and resentful.
Being stressed out and adrenal fatigue
The reality is that work stress causes the body to react in a way that is identical to being chased by a sabre-toothed tiger. Our bodies cannot distinguish between real physical danger, and emotional stress. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol into the bloodstream which causes every cell and organ to respond as if the body is in danger.
Stress creates the ‘fight, flight or flee’ instinct, and the long-term effects of repeated cortisol release causes all kinds of physical conditions:
- weight gain and poor digestion,
- insulin resistance,
- increased blood pressure,
- heart disease,
- osteoporosis, and
- poor sleep.
Ultimately, our entire immune system becomes suppressed which makes us more susceptible to viruses and infections, as well as cancer.
What can you do?
- Drink more water – just plain water
- Take allocated work breaks and get outside, or at least a change of scene.
- Eat fresh foods when possible – a salad sandwich, a salad with dinner, keep a bag of apples on our desk, or a box of trail mix fruit and nuts.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – an easy choice.
- Get outside in the fresh air and sunshine preferably daily. Take the dog for a walk, get out during your lunchbreak to a local park or sit under a tree.
- Practice hobbies and fun – if you don’t have a hobby find one. Line dancing, listening to music, fishing, join toastmasters, take up a craft. Anything that you can immerse yourself in and totally enjoy.
- Spend time with people who make you laugh and, who you can be safe with. A half-hour a day looking them in the eyes without other distractions (technology) is absolutely amazing for your stress, and your sense of belonging.
- Turn of your technology – TV, Youtube, Netflix, email, etc and your phone a half-hour before bed. The light from the screen disrupts sleep, and this gives you time to shower, unwind and practice good sleep hygiene as needed.
You can make excuses and delay making positive changes, meanwhile your health, your relationships and your whole well-being is suffering.
Do ONE thing… Make one small change every day for three weeks. This makes it a habit. Doing it for 3 months makes it a lifestyle change, ultimately leading to better health and reduced stress.
Regardless of how busy you are, how long your workday is, how many distractions are around, if I can encourage you to make one change today, and make it each day for 3 weeks, you will feel the difference.
What if you think you might need professional help?
Please talk to your doctor and tell them exactly what you are feeling and experiencing. Tell them you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, that you aren’t sleeping, that you have headaches, or fatigue constantly. Whatever your symptoms are, please be honest.
Some people might think they need to look for another job. If I can encourage you today to visualise what changes might look like to make your existing job better. You also need to consider whether the current workload is realistic, and what changes might need to be made if it is not.
Then you would need to consider how you will approach your boss, and what suggestions and solutions you will discuss with them to improve your situation. Take notes in with you and be prepared to negotiate with your boss.
Book a time with your boss when you won’t be interrupted to be honest, reasonable, and prepared to really discuss these things. Their answer may be surprising, and they may have more ideas that you hadn’t considered.
Finally, remember, there is always hope. Change can be difficult, challenging and painful, but it is possible.
Prioritise your health, your relationships and your well-being and practice the small changes daily. Remember, be kind to yourself, if you have a setback, that is not an excuse to stop. Just keep going, don’t give up.
You can do it!
For further training workshops and information on mental health training contact us at Step by Step Training.