Stress. It’s a small word with impact, and it’s becoming a common aspect of modern life. In the last year alone, 74% of us felt overwhelmed by stress to the point of not being able to cope. Those are pretty worrying stats! While it’s reassuring to know that we aren’t alone, the high prevalence of stress in this country and elsewhere right now isn’t an excellent reality to face.
Maybe the main problem with such high-stress levels is the fact that they pose a significant barrier to the self-care efforts most of us spend substantial time putting in place. How can you get enough sleep if you’re waking up with worries about work? How can you relax when you’re always thinking about how to afford your rent next month?
The good news is that facing stressors head-on can often help you overcome them. The best way to stop worrying about work is to address your concerns outright. The best way to stop stressing about money is to seek help with getting a secured loan to steady your finances. The trouble is that, despite these efforts, you can bet new stresses will soon come into play.
Does this mean you’re doomed to forever remain one step away from the lifestyle you wish you were living? Not necessarily. Here are some sure signs your stress levels are stopping your self-care journey, and what to do about them.
A lack of sleep
A good night of sleep is a self-care 101, but it’s not possible if you’re stressed to the hills every time you turn the lights out. If you keep waking up in the night for no evident reason or struggle to sleep no matter how tired you are, then it’s a guaranteed sign stress is getting in the way. And guess what? Not sleeping enough can stress you out more! The solution here is simple, and it primarily lies in developing good night habits, such as switching off all devices at least an hour before bed and trying instead to relax with a good book or a bath. By getting yourself in the right stress-free headspace for sleep, you should find that those nighttime worries leave you alone long enough for you to get some good energising perspective come morning.
A feeling of always being ‘on’
When we’re stressed, the idea of properly unwinding can get away from us. Instead, you might run around trying to address all your stressors. You might even fill your free time with preoccupations so you don’t have to think about what’s concerning you. Again, this constant feeling of being ‘on’ can further your struggles. What’s more, failing to relax regularly can lead to the burnout self-care tries to tackle. Instead of giving in to the need for constant busyness, then why not try and chill out? Easier said than done, but giving yourself focused chillout sessions such as guided yoga or meditation can help to ease your mind without leaving you at a loose end. Once you’ve embarked on these activities, you might even find it easier to sit back for at least an hour each night and calm down.
Grasping to routines
When we’re stressed, we often try to deal with it by putting routines in place. These can act as building blocks for our days, or certainties that can help us feel like we’re at least on top of something. There’s certainly no denying that, sometimes, routines can help with stress management. A decent morning routine, for instance, can help to set you up for the day without the stress you might experience otherwise. But grasping routines is a sure sign that you’re trying too hard to get control of your life, and it can lead to even further stress if things don’t go according to plan. As a compromise, why not try to mix things up a little? Implement those same self-care morning focuses, but change them around every day, or see if you can do each in a different setting sometimes. That way, you’ll ensure you can fit those self-care pointers into your life without giving yourself yet another thing to worry about.
Overcoming stress isn’t easy in an age where worry seems to continually come out the woodwork, but it is vital if you’re to live your best life. So, put these pointers into place sooner rather than later, and let self-care back into your daily journey.