One of the things which makes my health worse is stress. Stress brings on my coughs, stress links with my anxiety, stress affects my breathing. In fact, all of my health issues may have been caused by stress in the first place. The levels of stress in my life are often very high: simple daily life is fraught with it, even without major stressors such as bereavement, retirement, change, and so on.
So, what do I do to help with this? What strategies can I follow?
Well, I have several. Obviously, one help is my pile of medications. The anti-depressant, Citalopram, has made a big difference. For really difficult occasions, I have also taken Diazepam in the past. And that worked well at the time.
A really important way of combating stress for me is affection. Cuddles and hugs are a vital way for me to show love and support to my family, but they also work in return. I don’t think I could live without hugs and kisses. Luckily my chaps are a very huggy lot!
Most people find that exercise helps to alleviate stress and that was certainly true for me until my health collapsed to this extent. I loved to dance and also enjoyed using the gym and attending yoga classes. Walks with my lads were great too. But I cannot do any of those things now.
Humour is also a fantastic way of de-stressing. Unfortunately, laughing brings on my coughing attacks! I can still smile, though. 😀
Music helps many people, although not me, but reading takes me away from my worries to other places and times. Reading is my escape and I read so widely because I really don’t mind where I escape to! This afternoon I have been shooting the bad guys with Jack Reacher and then chasing a werewolf-like creature through a forest.
Unfortunately, I tend to turn to tea and cake when I am stressed and that helps in the short term, but then I become more upset by the thought of the weight I am piling on! So food is not good for stress.
Anyway, I have spent all of this post writing about the things that help, without telling you about the very best thing of all…….
Popping bubble wrap!
Burnout and Stress by Florian Simeth on Flickr.