Emma is a full time blogger and freelance social media manager based in Bournemouth, Dorset. She lives with her three young children and recently married her husband Ed in Santorini, Greece. With experience working in the events industry, Emma writes a regular wedding series on her blog, Even Angels Fall, along with other lifestyle topics including motherhood, beauty, style, food & travel.
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1) Do you suffer with stress frequently or occasionally?
I feel like I am in a constant state of stress. I have been diagnosed as having anxiety. I am highly strung and feel like my mind flits from one cause of stress to another. Even when I am meant to be relaxing, for example during a massage or on holiday, I find it hard to switch off. It’s so draining!
2) What sort of things cause you stress?
I stress about anything and everything, but things like money (or lack of), our health and being a good mum to my three kids are the areas which bring the most stress.
3) Does anything in particular make stress worse for you?
I can’t stand it when people don’t understand stress and anxiety, and how much of an effect it can have on your day to day life. I really struggle to get over things and often get told to ‘just relax’, ‘chill out’, and ‘calm down’. It’s not as easy as that, and it can be very frustrating. My husband tries to be understanding, but I think he finds it difficult, as he is so much more laidback, and doesn’t tend to crack, even when he is under stress himself. I find it a lot harder to cope when I am stressed, if I am not able to escape the situation. That makes me anxious as well as stressed, and it escalates.
4) Does stress have an impact on your physical health?
Definitely. As well as the anxiety, I worry about the effect stress might be having on my heart. Heart attacks in women my age are uncommon, but not unheard of, and living in a constant stressed out and anxious state can’t be good for you. I also suffer from headaches often, and I am quite unhealthy in my eating habits as I tend to stress eat.
5) What do you do to alleviate stress?
I try and head to the beach if I get extremely stressed out and worked up. It is my happy place, and fortunately only around a 10-15 minute drive from home. I also started taking hot baths around a year ago, having never really liked them before. I chuck in a bath bomb, lock the door, pour a large glass of wine and settle down with a good book.
6) Do you think more needs to be done to raise awareness of what causes stress and the impact it has on us and those around us? If yes, what would you do or like to see done?
I think in general, mental health is being talked about more and more these days, and that is so good. Stress doesn’t seem to be included though, and it is a very real issue, and something so many people suffer with. Stress can also lead onto other health issues, including anxiety, so it is important to break down the stigma and misunderstanding around stress, so that people understand what it is and that it is nothing to be ashamed of.
7) Do you have any tips for anyone dealing with stress?
Try and talk about what is making you stressed out to somebody else. Although it might seem easier to bury your head in the sand, it will ultimately make things worse if you don’t open up. Talking to somebody close to you will help them to understand what you are going through, and a problem shared is a problem halved.
If you want to see more about stress awareness then please search ‘stress awareness’ to read all the posts throughout April.