|Posted by dbsamemphis on November 30, 2018 at 2:50 PM|
Stress, who needs it? There are arguments for its being useful, but those of us with mood disorders need to avoid it as much as possible.
Signs of stress can creep up on you. You can be too hungry or avoid food; everyone annoys you; you're tired, no real energy, but you have trouble sleeping. You begin to feel overwhelmed, lonely, isolated. Then it starts to show outside: you break out in acne, cold sores, canker sores, or your hair starts to fall out. But the real damage starts inside. Your heart races, your head hurts, your muscles tense so much that you have back and jaw pain, maybe your chets hurts, you get frequent colds and infections, and you lose sexual desire and/or ability.
Left alone, strees can leave you lonely, unproductive, suicidal, prone to alcohol and drug abuse, over-eating or under-eating, and with numerous illnesses such as heart disease.
You can take control your stress instead of it controling you. That rquires active effort; the short-term relief you get from watching television or hopping on social media can only make things worse over time. So, what really works?
Remember your basics of self-care:
-Sleep at least eight hours a night
-Avoid caffine, alcohol, and nicotine
-Attend DBSA meetings
-Eat healthy every day
-See your professionals
-Get plenty of sunshine
There's more. You can manage your time to include relaxation, hobbies, reading, and music. Try meditation, deep breathing, Tai Chi, or tap yourself if you have had EMDR training. Talk to someone; socialize with family and friends. If you're short on people, join a club, call someone from DBSA, volunteer, or find an online support group that includes a chat room.
Remember, get active. Many aspects of reducing stress are the same as managing your mood disorder, so you're handling two problems with the same actions with no more work than usual. You simply have to be committed to caring for yourself and follow through on these tips. And, as always, ask for help.
Laurie Dever Hook