We all seem to be busy bodies working nine to five (who are we kidding? We’re always working). With the inundation of tasks, study, responsibility and expectations becoming more intense (seriously, why?) It’s natural that our stress levels may rise in the process.
Don’t get us wrong, a little bit of stress can be a good thing, and physiologically speaking, unavoidable. The stress we experience that causes us to be productive and motivated is a little ditty called ‘eustress’ (sounds like ‘you-stress’. Ironic.) This kind of stress is the type that won’t leave you feeling like a wrung-out rag after you start to relax again.
But anything beyond the optimum amount and you’ll probably find yourself having a rough time of it. So how on earth are we able to realise when stress is overriding the good vibes in our lives? Well, in hindsight the signs are actually quite easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for – so we’ve teamed up with headspace to bring you a few tell-all warnings.
Your Appetite Goes A Bit Whack
Speaking from experience, this can be a sneaky one to notice. Stress has the ability to alter your appetite in a range of different ways. If your affinity for junk food has increased ten-fold, it might be due to you being a little stress-head. On the other hand, sometimes your appetite can take a nose-dive and before you know it, it’s 8pm and you’ve managed to whiz through lunch and dinner without much notice.
Tips if you’re struggling with eating: Try snacking in short periods through the day, especially on nuts, fruits and biscuits that aren’t full of cream.
You Get Mood Swings
There may be a time where you might mention that you’re a fraction away from throwing a grown-up temper tantrum. But the truth is that stress can actually cause you to get quite moody. Have you been snapping at your partner, friends or parents? Or are you upset because your pet won’t come and sit with you? Well of course you are. If you find yourself feeling moody, it’s probably best that you make yourself a cup of tea and take a breather. You’ll be happy you did.
Tips if you get mood swings on the reg: Tea is your friend, try meditation or even running/exercise (a great time to release, and clear the mind).
You Have Trouble Getting Physical (In Every Way)
Any interpretation you want to make of this, go right ahead. Stress can cause you an array of physical ailments from that precious head of yours, all the way down to your toes. Maybe you’ve noticed that your hair is falling out more than usual? Perhaps you’ve been hit with recurrent headaches due to your (unnoticed) tense demeanour. Your back and neck can get sore. Sleeping becomes a fitful process that doesn’t leave much to be desired. Energy becomes a thing of the past, replaced with lethargy. And yes.. it can affect your sex life, just fyi.
Tips if your body is feeling it big time: Start stretching and figure out some small steps that’ll help your body feel less pain. Stress can really hurt our physical state, so making baby steps (like sleeping earlier, or getting off the bus a stop before your usual and walking) can help big time.
You Want To Chuck Very Occasional Sickies
Despite the fact that we always love a good old day off, rain, hail or shine, stress can cause us to feel legitimately unwell. Have you had a lingering cold that you just can’t seem to shake? Maybe you’re feeling like your body is made of lead due to intense tiredness? These are signs that your stress may have gone a little too far and is affecting you physically.
Tips if you’re constantly avoiding work: Tell your boss or manager. We often put up a brave face at work, but just let your superiors know that you’re feeling super tired and/or stressed. You’ll be surprised how understanding they might be, and of the HR options that could be available to help.
Have you been feeling super moody or tired of late? There’s a decent chance you could even tick both boxes. But if you are feeling the full effects of stress, don’t panic – it’s pretty normal. Read up on how to deal with tough days from headspace, and see how you can start managing stress, rather than taking on way too much. And you’ll be back to your normal, amazing self in no-time.
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