I don’t think there’s anything more relatable to the millennial condition than stress. We’ve all been there, we’re all headed there, we’re all coming from there at one point or another. Let’s talk about how to harness that stress and turn it into success.
I was talking to Katherine today and she was just finishing up some proofing for me (yay for new clients, yikes for my life being in a disarray). I was making excuses for why I needed a second opinion on something I do…every. single. day. Basically my personal life has been a hot steaming pile of disaster lately. Read as: Meagen’s stressed because she puts her family, her friends, and sometimes complete strangers above herself in the hierarchy.
Katherine of course is occasionally master of the power of a positive mind. So when she whipped out this little gem I knew I had to run with it…”Harness the stress, turn it into success”! I thought, seriously…that’s what I’ve been struggling with. I need to find more ways to turn my stress into positive actions.
So let’s do it. Let’s talk about stress, what is, if you have it, and how the heck to turn it into something positive!
What Is Stress?
Stress in this case is defined as such:
- a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
“he’s obviously under a lot of stress”
synonyms: strain, pressure, (nervous) tension, worry, anxiety, trouble, difficulty; informal hassle
“he’s under a lot of stress”
If there’s on phrase that describes my freaking life it’s “informal hassle”. No one wants to be a burden but no one wants to admit that they are a burden either. It’s the way things go. Stress can come from anywhere, your job, your home life, your family, your rabbit constantly and forever licking itself until you are sure that it is going to fall over dead any second…okay maybe that one is just me.
Symptoms Of Stress
Sing song: Let’s go to WebMD, let’s go see if we’re dyyiinnnngggg!
The emotional signs of stress can be as follows:
- Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
- Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
- Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
- Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
- Avoiding others
While the physical symptoms of stress are more like:
- Low energy
- Upset stomach, including diarrhea, constipation, and nausea
- Aches, pains, and tense muscles
- Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
- Frequent colds and infections
- Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
- Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear, cold or sweaty hands and feet
- Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
- Clenched jaw and grinding teeth
There’s also some cognitive symptoms and some behavioral symptoms along with loads of other great info that you can get right here.
Am I the only one who checks off all of these symptoms during a week?! I can’t be. Ugh it’s giving me stress just thinking about it!
In reality I know that we’re all dealing with our own levels of stress. It’s hard out there in the world. There’s so much to care about and very little time to actually do anything about all the problems we see. Today was just one of the many “ah-ha” moments I have but I’m glad, because it was an important one.
It’s so easy to burn out. Emotionally, burn out can happen so quickly but it takes a slower toll on our bodies. Physically you can suffer from stress. I do. It’s not fun. If you are a worrier like me, let’s talk about ways that you can harness that stress and turn it into success!
Ways To Harness The Stress!
Plan, Plan, Plan
One of the ways that I harness my stress is by planning. The first thing I did today, Monday morning…was get my calendar in order for the week. For about 10 minutes I got dizzy and almost fell over because of the sheer enormity of it all but then I could take a deep breath and figure out what to do and when.
Cut The Crap
Next thing I did was delete some things. I’m sorry but sometimes the best thing you can do physically and mentally is delete the things that are stressing you out. I know that I can’t do lunch/dinner with family this week. My sister is getting married on Saturday, they’ll have to wait and see me then. Group text example, feel free to use this:
Sorry, won’t be available this week. I’m up to my eyeballs in quicksand and I need some time to work things out and get my schedule under control.
The mute setting works well too.
Get Rid Of The Guilt
I come from a long line of worriers and an even longer line of women skilled in the guilt trip. It’s the least fun kind of travel. If you are overwhelmed and looking for ways to ditch the stress, guilt is the best place to start. You can only do what you can do and that.is.that. Anyone who thinks otherwise or complains clearly does not have your best interest at heart. Ditch them too.
I was recently doing some research on productivity apps and there are a bunch of really great ones. They range from personal to family and all the way back to the corporate world. Find a productivity app that helps you and use it. Set your goals, set your calendar, block your social media channels and get to work!
Pro Tip: if you work from home like I do, it can be hard to focus on work and let the rest go. I head to my local coffee shop, put in my headphones and get down to the task at hand. It’s a change of scene and it helps me forget about the laundry and vacuuming for awhile.
Incentives Work Wonders
Do you need a little incentive to get work done?! That’s totally fine. We deserve treats and breaks and happiness. Set up a reward system. I get to go with my best buddy shopping for my husbands wedding clothes today because I got my work done on time! Give yourself rewards for a job well done. You can harness that stress and turn it into success…even if it takes a bunch of mini snickers bars to make it happen.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t always do it on my own. If you can’t de-stress on your own, if you feel like you can’t harness the stress because it’s just so much stuff, talk to your doctor. Get a referral for a therapist, schedule a bitch session with your best friend, or find a medical approach that can help. I wasn’t always put together and planning and organizing to my full potential. For awhile, a prescription mood stabilizer really helped me put things into perspective and get control over my life again. There’s no shame in that. Don’t glorify stress, don’t glorify busy. Make time for you. Make time for what matters and use the rest as firewood for s’mores!
Awesome DIY’s To Help You De-Stress
If you like to craft…I’m making a shirt with my new favorite quote…you can use some of these awesome DIY’s to unwind and de-stress. Use them as an incentive!
- DIY Lip Balm
- Homemade Oatmeal Soap | Milk & Honey Soap
- Chocolate Coffee Face Mask | DIY Skincare
- DIY Peel Off Pore Strips