STRESS! Friend Or Foe?

Stress is surely a foe, right? It is surely impossible to feel OK during stress?

For those of you who follow me on Social Media (all, 3 of you?), you will know that stress came knocking on my door recently. Or should I say came to punch me in the face! It pays me an unwelcome visit every year, as soon as the dreaded word ‘Christmas’ is mentioned.

Recently, feeling so stressed has resulted in me retreating from my usual activities. I usually become a bit of a hermit when I feel overwhelmed to be honest, so this is not unusual or alarming behavior.  I have fluctuated between not wanting to go out and socialise at all to suddenly wanting to do ALL THE THINGS because I am feeling left out. As soon as I do force myself to go out, I exhaust myself even further, and the cycle continues until total burn out. *Sigh*

And so it is that I have spent the last month comfort eating insane amounts, drinking copious amounts of coffee and wearing that grubby dressing gown at every opportunity possible. I am starting to both look (and feel) like the worst version of myself. But (Side – Note)you know what has made me feel better? Seasonal coffee! Pumpkin Spice, Bonfire, Toffee etc……..erm, ok, guess that just adds to the calories. *double sigh*

I decided this morning that I needed to do a life reset and get a GRIP!

Stress can be a killer. It can turn even the most goal driven, motivated people into miserable, useless slugs. But only because we allow it to. We CAN always choose to beat stress.

I am the WORST for allowing stress to consume me. I am usually the first person to jump under the stress bus and I do it willingly. I will knowingly jump head first into the stress and then spend the next few weeks moaning and complaining to anyone who will listen, how miserable I am about it. Or I will retreat from everyone entirely. Especially from social media! I will practically FORCE myself to feel utter cack, because if I feel cack, then I am entitled to eat ALL the McDonalds, refuse to exercise, ignore my unanswered messages, ignore my to-do list, wrap myself in my dressing gown and have a full on MOPE! My own worst enemy.

Feeling this way almost gives me the excuse I need to ditch my usual self-disciplined routines.

Surrendering yourself to stress is an escape from reality. But you can’t escape forever. It will consume you eventually.

Well I have had it with being weak. It is time to change my mindset! (As I so often preach) I CAN feel OK during stress.

Stress doesn’t have to control your life.

A change in perspective

Sometimes, stress can be a friend. We should make sure that we break our to do list and stresses down into manageable chunks, so as to not take on too much to soon. And when we do feel stressed? It’s cool! It’s natural! And there is nothing wrong with sitting down at the end of a (self-disciplined AND productive) day, cracking open a beer or cutting into a giant cake and accepting that things are a little stressful right now, but that you don’t have to feel stressed ALL the time. For now, you can relax and indulge (a little) but tomorrow, you are jumping straight back on the horse!

It’s ok to put some things aside, to calm down and concentrate on your own self-care when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. You can deal with everything else tomorrow. We have that luxury almost every day. That is one of the many positives of living in a middle class society.

It is so incredibly wonderful to take that time out to drink tea, watch netflix, cuddle with your loved ones and allow the world to go by without you for a bit. So thank you STRESS, you have allowed me to FORCE myself back into self-care.

You will NOT beat me down this year.

How do you plan to calm the stresses of the holiday season this year? You can feel OK during stress.


Photo Credit: Siy Kinnersley

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