Warning signs for stress


Sometimes when you get a little off track and are struggling to create life balance you don’t see it coming. You burnout, stress out and you can’t think why. Everybody has their own warning signs when this happens, yours might be different to mine. I know mine because when I was diagnosed with anxiety I realised that all the things that I had begun to feel every day were not normal. When you are in the midst of it though you may not know what is normal, you may not know what your warning signs are. Mine are

  • Shoulder pain. When I tense up my shoulder muscles get the worst of it. I hunch up and I can tell maybe even after only a few hours that I am out of balance. Something has got my stressed and I need to implement a little self care to balance myself out again.
  • Fatigue. Being stressed is exhausting, the tension, the anxiety, the physical symptoms. For me especially my body screams at me to rest. If I sit down for a few minutes I struggle to get back up. I feel tired and then I figure out why.
  • Not being able to sleep. Anyone who has suffered with anxiety or stress will no that on the other side of the tiredness there is a horrific inability to sleep. You get so wound up that you can’t relax or rest. Something has got your mind whirring and you can’t switch it off.
  • Irritability. If I am getting unreasonably snappy at my family then I know I need to calm down. It happens when I am preoccupied with something that is causing me stress.
  • Feeling emotional. As well as the snappy irritability theres the urge to burst into tears with very little cause!
  • A feeling of uneasiness that you can’t put your finger on. It feels as though you have forgotten something, your mind is racing but not for any particular reason.
  • Headaches. Because of the combination of tiredness and tension headaches are bound to happen.

Some of these warning signs come straight away some of them come as the stress builds up over time. The big one for me is the shoulder pain. I know that if I am really sore up there then I haven’t been looking after myself properly and I need to stop and figure out why and how I can correct it as soon as possible, by scheduling some time for myself to relax and recover and to use my bag of tricks so I can get my life balance back to what it should be. It doesn’t happen as often anymore because I am used to balancing my life every day. But I won’t ever say that it will never happen, of course it will. We all lose track and we all get overwhelmed and we all forget to look after ourselves sometimes but now I know that I can see it coming. As it edges towards me I can tell myself that something has gone wrong and I need to reassess what I am doing in my every day life.

Do you know your warning signs? Perhaps you share some of mine. If not, do you know how to work yours out? Drop me an email at imogenjhope@gmail.com if you need help figuring it out.

Peace & joy,

Imogen x

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