Stress is a normal part of life. How it effects us on a physical, psychological and emotional level and how we deal with it, varies from person to person.
Some people thrive on stress and performance at their best. Whereas other people can be overwhelmed and function at a less optimal level.
I think the first step in effectively managing stress, is accepting that stress in happens to us all and is normal part of our lives as a human!
The next step is taking the time to take a step back and reflecting how you have dealt with stressful situations in the past. Have you thrived or fallen? What was the end result? Positive or negative? How do you feel looking back?
I personally believe you can have a positive or negative outlook on anything in life. Whichever way you choose, the outcome tends to follow. If you embrace the mantra that sometimes stress isn’t optional but how you deal with it is, you will start to feel more in control of the situation and your life in general.
We all need to develop a strategy to manage stress. There are many options including;
CBT – cognitive behavioural therapy
A combination of all of the above tends to work best. Reflect on the type of stress you are experiencing, and then work on developing your personal coping strategy. For example, if you’re stressed and exhausted, exercise is best avoided and mindfulness and yoga is much kinder option for your body and mind. On the other hand, if anxiety is affecting you exercise may help you let off some steam and then sleep better at night as a result.
WORK RELATED STRESS
Stress at work happens to us all from time to time. The level you experience of course depend on the type of job you are in, but if your stress levels are negatively impacting your performance at work, and result in you taking the stress home with you; it’s time to take action. These simple steps can help you manage stress at work more effectively;
- Talk to your seniors. Remember recognising you’re under stress and seeking help, is not a sign of failure, it is actually a sign of self care.
- Take time out. Simple things like having your lunch away from your desk, doing a gym class in your lunch hour, or simply a change of scenery for half an hour can help relieve your mind of the pressure and help re-set for the rest of the day
- Talk to your colleagues. Make time to share your experiences and challenges with your work colleagues. This not only helps to share the load, but also is a good learning experience in itself.
- Learn to delegate
- Divide your tasks at work in manageable chunks with realistic time – related goals.
STRESS AT HOME
Stress at home whether it be related to your family or your partner is always challenging and distressing. My GP experience has taught, that if you want to help your loved ones and tackle stress at home, you need to make sure that you’re caring for your own health and well-being as much as theirs.
Get the foundations right; sleep well, eat right, exercise and make time for you.
Talk to each other and in times of conflict try to see things from the other persons perceptive and then try to reach a compromise.
Stress is normal, it’s how you manage that makes the difference
Self-care is a key part of coping with stress
Reflect on the type of stress you are experiencing, then work on developing your personal coping strategy.
Talk to others, share the load
Take action. Chronic stress can sometimes develop into mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Please please don’t suffer in silence. See your GP sooner rather than later. There are so many more options available than you think.
Dr Jane Leonard is a fully qualified GP and Cosmetic doctor, graduating from the University of Manchester. She also has a first class honours degree in anatomical sciences, in which she focused her studies on the anatomy of the face, head and neck.
She completed her aesthetic training on Harley Street following a stint at The Alfred Hospital Medical Research Centre, in Melbourne, Australia. Her work in Dermatology research has been published in the prestigious Australasian Journal of Dermatology.
Almost a decade of aesthetic treatment experience, Dr Leonard has been nominated for the Cosmetic Doctor of the Year in the prestigious Safety in Beauty Diamond Awards.