We all know the feeling – it’s been a busy day at work, there’s stuff due for school, you’ve blown this week’s budget (again), please don’t let that be a sore throat coming on, and why oh why can’t your family just leave you alone?!
Everyone experiences stress in their life at some point, because stress is the body’s way of dealing with pressure. Sometimes stress can be a positive thing, giving us the drive we need for results in competitive or demanding situations, like exams or job interviews. But if left unchecked, chronic stress can become a real problem for our wellbeing.
The effects of stress can rear its head in many ways (see the research here):
:: Mood swings or personality changes
:: Disrupted sleeping patterns
:: Loss of appetite or eating more frequently/unhealthily
:: Using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism
:: Losing interest in normal activities (like hobbies, work, socialising)
:: Experiencing panic, anxiety, or a sense of not coping
:: Headaches, increased blood pressure, or exhaustion
:: Feeling down or depressed most of the time
If you experience one or more of the above symptoms for a prolonged amount of time, it’s best to seek help.
Simple tips to cope with stress (and even make it your friend!):
:: Share your feelings with someone you trust and ask them to help you problem-solve
:: Practise relaxation techniques like meditation
:: Go for a run, walk, bike ride, or simply step outside for some fresh air
:: Make time for friends and family
:: Allocate time for things you enjoy and that make you happy
:: Delegate (or simply put off) low-priority tasks
:: Be realistic in your expectations of yourself – remember you are human!
(Also, cat videos can work wonders. Here’s one of our faves.)
Need to talk?
eheadspace is a confidential, free, anonymous, secure space where you can chat, email or speak with qualified youth mental health professionals if you are 12 to 25 years old. To access eheadspace, visit www.eheadspace.org.au