4 Ways My Stress Manifests (& What I Do About It)
It’s common knowledge that I’m a worrisome person. Even if something’s not a big deal, you bet that I’m gonna sit and ponder over it anyway.
Over the years, I’ve also been somewhat of a people pleaser and this, combined with all that worry, can often bring on that thing we like to call stress.
Stress is one of those things that creeps up on me when I’ve been busy, or rather, my mind has. It builds up, builds up, builds up and then hits me like a ton of bricks to the point where I have to give myself a good talking to.
As we grow up, I don’t know about you, but I find that we can learn to figure out how to deal with ourselves. Through growth (and therapy certainly helps!) we learn to put things in place so that we can tackle stress when it happens.
Although sometimes I don’t realise it’s happening until the peak hits, there are some coping mechanisms I’ve developed to help me get by and back on track to regular life.
Introducing to you, the four stages of my stress. Giving you all the details on what goes on and how I try to deal with them proactively.
Stage 1: I’m Going In
In stage 1, I become somewhat reclusive. I’m worrying that much about stuff that I go ‘in’ on myself like I’m numb to it all. I’m ‘extra’ quiet around people, even my other half, I’m rubbish at texting and calling people and I just don’t wanna socialise.
It’s almost as if I just want to sit in silence, not be disturbed and just crack on with whatever I want to at the time.
What I Do; I allow myself to feel like it. I always let Josh know how I’m feeling so that he can let me go through the motions. If friends and family ask, I’m honest about my mood. In this stage, there’s not much I can do apart from ride the wave.
However! The most important part of this is that I acknowledge that I’m feeling some kinda way. That way, I know that it isn’t going to last forever and there’s going to be an end. If I want chocolate, I’ll have chocolate. If I wanna play Animal Crossing for hours, I’ll do just that.
Stage 2: It’s Coldsore Time
Stage 2 means the coldsores come. I’ve suffered from coldsores for as long as I can remember as have a lot of other females in my family. I always know that stress is present when one of these pops up to say hello.
At first, I feel that little tingle and before you know it, my lip has ballooned (or at least it feels like it has!) and I’m covering up my mouth at every opportunity. Thank goodness for masks, ey!
What I do; Up until recently, I would just let them run their course. But now I’ve been introduced to HERPOtherm, I think these coldsores will be lucky if they ever come to fruition! Even if I catch a coldsore later on in its development, apparently it can potentially fade up to 50% quicker.
Coldsores are a real confidence knock for me and make me slump further, so anything I can do to prevent them, I will. The HERPOtherm device heats the area on your lip for a couple of seconds to kill the virus before it forms into a blister. I’ll be zip-zapping my lip to keep my coldsores at bay from now on thanks to this little gadget!
Stage 3: Horizontal Only
Ahhh, the horizontal phase. Slightly similar to Stage 1, but with less energy. By now, especially after the coldsore, I feel depleted of any energy and would much rather like to be horizontal for as long as possible. Whether it’s staying in bed as long as I can or Netflix binging on the sofa. I want to be laid down.
When I feel my mental energy draining, my physical energy drains too.
What I do; If I don’t pick myself up here, I know that this struggle will last for longer than I’d like. So in this phase, I try to stick to my routine without overdoing it where I don’t have to.
For me, this means still going and training, stretching when I can, cleaning up the flat and working as normal. By no means do I stress myself out, If I wanna miss a session, I’ll miss it. But I won’t do anything extra than what my normal routine is, giving me more time for self-care. I’m talking face masks, Drag Race and all the chocolate hobnobs a gal can eat.
Stage 4: The Tearful Finale
Like everything, this cycle must end and boy does it with a good ol’ cry. This may sound weird, but sometimes I just love a good cry? Do you get what I mean?
There’s nothing better than a big old sob, blurting out your feelings to someone you love and then feeling that sense of relief afterwards. Bar all the snotty sniffles and puffy eyes, I feel so much better afterwards.
What I Do; Cry. There’s nothing that can stop these waves from flowing from my eyes at this time!
So there you have it. The 4 stages of my stress and how I get around it. As you can see, it’s a lot of just waiting for the storm to pass. But the great thing is that I acknowledge that it will pass and let myself to get through it.
I’d love to know if any of you experience stress in the same way I do, or if yours is completely different. Are you a horizontal person when it hits? Do you suffer from those dreaded coldsores?