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!
My name is Claire, I’m somewhat kidding myself my saying I’m in my mid thirties as I turn 40 next year, but what’s a few years between friends? I married my childhood sweetheart (that term makes me throw up in my mouth a little) but we have been together forever. We have two boys aged 8 and 4. The 8 year old never stops talking and the 4 year old never stops moving.
I blog at Life, Love and Dirty Dishes where I share honest and amusing stories about the rollercoaster ride that is parenting.
1.) Do you suﬀer with stress frequently or occasionally?
There’s the ‘normal’ day to day stress. You know the ‘get your shoes on NOW’ school run kind of stress. But feeling properly stressed out is an occasional thing for me. I’d say I have a meltdown every six months where things get too much for me and I feel overwhelmed.
2.) What sort of things cause you stress?
I’m an organised person and if I’m honest a control freak. So when things get unorganised and I feel like I’m not in control I get stressed. When my to do list spirals out of control, when I’m trying to make the ‘perfect’ Christmas. Or more recently when we had a new kitchen and had walls knocked down and my house was a complete disaster area for three months.
Parenting things can really stress me out. General worries about the kids, about how I am as a parent. I’ve had a lot of stress and worry about my youngest who had a speech delay. But coming out the other side of the experience I think it’s taught me to not sweat the small stuff quite so much.
3.) Does anything in particular make stress worse for you?
I think in my 39 (cough) years I have learnt who supports me when I need it, and who can make me feel worse. My husband is my rock when I feel stressed and he is the one I turn to.
4.) Does stress have an impact on your physical health?
Feeling stressed makes me tired, which makes me unproductive, which makes it harder to regain control of the situation.
5.) What do you do to alleviate stress?
Several things help me. First and foremost is always a list. Writing a list of what I need to get done makes me feel in control which always helps.
As shallow as it sounds a bit of retail therapy always gives me a lift. Probably because it’s just a bit of tie to myself and some space to breathe.
Getting away with my husband. A date night, a meal out, just something simple to forget everything else for a few hours.
And finally, time with my girlfriends. Chatting over a few glasses of wine with the girls is always good for the soul.
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 it’s important individually to recognise what our triggers are and to know how to alleviate the stress. I think it’s often an overused word that diminished how serious it can be for people. We are often guilty of saying “I’m a bit stressed out” when in fact we are just busy. I would like to see more recognition for the true meaning of stress and less of the “what do you have to be stressed about”. We feel stress to varying degrees and we all cope with it differently, but one person’s stress isn’t any less important than another person’s.
7.) Do you have any tips for anyone dealing with stress?
Ultimately you must find what works for you, whether that’s going for a run, or having a long soak in the bath. But I would always say talk. Talk to someone, talk to yourself. Just talk it through to help calm you and get some perspective.
I would also say to try and let go of the things that you have no control over and focus on the things that you can control.
If you want to see more about stress awareness then please search ‘stress awareness’ to read all the posts throughout April.