It’s Stress Awareness month! If you haven’t seen my post here about Stress Awareness month and the stress awareness takeover, then go and check it out so that you can see what is going on!
I’m Laura, blogger at www.fivelittledoves.com, wife of one and Mum of five, sharing the highs and lows of parenting. I write about our life raising rainbows whilst raising awreness of the subjects close to my heart – baby loss, mental health and chronic illness. Find me at:
1.) Do you suﬀer with stress frequently or occasionally?
Every single day without fail!
2.) What sort of things cause you stress?
The biggest stress for me is trying to juggle work, parenting, running a home whilst still making time for myself. With four children (3, 4, 5, 13) I constantly feel as though I’m spinning plates!
3.) Does anything in particular make stress worse for you?
I have lived with mental illness from the age of 18 (depression, anxiety, panic disorder and anorexia) and so stress is something which comes very easily to me and equally, that I really struggle to handle. The hardest thing for me is that stress has a huge impact on my mental health so even the smallest stress can cause my depression or my anxiety to spiral out of control.
4.) Does stress have an impact on your physical health?
Yes massively. I have insomnia which is worsened by stress, and also when I’m particuarly stressed I lose a lot of weight which, as a recovering anorexic, is never a good thing. I feel on edge and anxious pretty much all the time!
5.) What do you do to alleviate stress?
This year I decided to try and claw back a little time for me to really focus on destressing, and so I joined the gym and have really been trying to stick to that regime three times a week, just a short swim or relaxing in the jacuzzi, and it really helps. Other than that I find locking myself in the bathroom for ten minutes to catch my breath, or hiding in the kitchen eating a chocolate bar, work for the short term!
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?
Yes definitely. I think one of the real issues is that people confuse having a stressful day with actually having stress. It’s the same with people who say they are depressed when they’ve had a bad day, or a bad week. So for those who genuinely are suffering with stress, or other mental illness, it can make it harder for others to really sympathise or understand just how much it can impact on our lives.
7.) Do you have any tips for anyone dealing with stress?
My biggest tip is to find something that works for you and stick to it. That could be as simple as making a list of all of the things which cause you stress and trying to slowly eliminate them or set a strategy in place to help you to cope. It could be finding a hobby that helps you to relax, joining a gym or taking a hot bath.
For those who are really struggling I would always advise to seek advice from your GP, stress is actually one of the biggest killers and should absolutely be taken seriously.
If you want to see more about stress awareness then please search ‘stress awareness’ to read all the posts throughout April.