How to deal with stress.

I have been suffering with headaches these last few days mostly due to a stressful few weeks at work. Ibuprofen seems to do the trick but I cannot rely on pills to relax me and I certainly can’t take them every day. I am not very good when it comes to applying strategies to deal with stress even though it is the one thing that seems to impact greatly on my physical health and state of mind.

It probably doesn’t help that my mother went into hospital today for an operation. My husband has gone with her and having just finished a phone call with him, the results have been so so. Thankfully cancer seems to have been ruled out – at least for now and that was the main worry. She has been diagnosed with something less major and controllable. However, the levels of stress in me are yet to decrease.

Here are five ways to eliminate stress that I intend to use this week – without the aid of painkillers:

  1. SLEEP – Clearly I am not having enough. You are apparently supposed to have eight hours a night – at least! I can definitely tell you I am not. So, as of tonight, I’m getting some earlier nights.
  2. BYE BYE CAFFEINE – I drink far too much coffee, especially at work. On Tuesday I drank four very large cups of the stuff which is much more than I’m used to. I can honestly say that it did nothing to soothe me or relieve any stress. It is a well know fact that caffeine releases adrenaline into your bloodstream which in turn increases stress and anxiety levels. I’m limiting myself to half a cup in the morning and that is it! Green tea all the way haha!
  3. STAY POSITIVE! – This is a hard one especially at work but too much negativity leaves you feeling tired which leaves you feeling stressed. Plus, I am British, we do like a moan now and again! Here’s to putting a positive spin on things no matter how irritable I may be. Things can always be worse right?
  4. SING – I guess this plan is designed for me. Singing has always been a release and although I cannot call myself a ‘singer’, my voice won’t crack windows! Maybe it’s something to do with breathing and ‘opening’ your lungs that is relaxing. 
  5. MASSAGE – If I could get a massage every day then that would be heaven! It’s got to be the number one thing that relaxes me. Okay, that’s probably not going to be possible. But this is where I become even nicer than I already am and sweetly ask my husband to give me a few neck massages every now and again!

What’s the point in worrying? It’s time to de stress. 

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.
Hans Selye 

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The boss of me.

I have to be honest here. I lack majorly when it comes to standing up for myself. If questioned, I feel backed into a corner. I hesitate, show anxiety, panic and doubt myself if questioned in a bossy way. My father was so demanding and his level of questioning was always challenging towards me. He made me feel like no answer would satisfy him and that nothing would appease the situation.

When challenged by my peers now, I react similarly to the way I did with my father. I do not like to be bossed yet I respond well to clear and respectful orders or requests. I notice it the most in a working environment. No matter where I have worked through my career, it has always been the same. I appreciate being talked to not talked at. I appreciate communication and cooperation. It makes for an easier life. I am not good at second guessing or acting on assumption, I like to know in advance and feel prepared for something. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can’t be spontaneous. I just leave that for the other parts of my life. At work however, I want to know where I should be and what I should be doing. 

My father was always the boss of me. 

He gave himself that role and I allowed him to have it.

Thursday will be an important day with an important post. It will be exactly one year that I watched my father’s body be cremated. It will be a time to look back on what I consider to be the most surreal moment of my life.

It was a hellish day, an upsetting day and most of all, a very revealing day.

It was my father’s funeral.